Older VAF News:
   Home > Previous News


October 31, 2016.   Issue No. 4,236.

John Wilhite visits the Van Cave Friday.
dr photo.


Thanks to Mr. Steve Ingraham ...Tony

I posted a few days ago trying to decide between a RV-7/7A or RV-14/14A and received a lot of great feedback. One who responded to the post noticed that we lived close and graciously offered me a ride in his RV-9A. This was to be my first in any RV. I had a great time and learned many things. Steve has a beautiful aircraft and I am very grateful for the experience.

Many thanks to Steve and Mary Ingraham.


First video ...'trackdom' in France

Here is my first hero4 video over south alpes in France.


1700 hours ... Pete Howell

Just completed the 1700 hr oil change with compression check and borescope pics of the exhaust valves. - Thanks to Alex P for letting me try out his new scope!

Oil filter media and screen were examined and were clean

Compression check with cold cylinders:


DIY Spark Plug Tray ...Dave


A couple of recent RV-12 pictures from Jim Stricker


Mothership Comedy ....courtesy Adam I think



October 28, 2016.   Issue No. 4,235.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.

Eagle's Nest Projects: Wings Over Houston '16 ...Ernie

PLTW Aerospace Engineering Students, Mentors, and Teachers from Clear Springs High School in League City, TX displayed three completed Eagle's Nest Projects at Wings Over Houston. Clear skies and cool temps set the stage for record attendance and an opportunity for hundreds of families to experience first hand the outstanding accomplishment of local high school students.

Most adults just couldn't believe that high school students built these beautiful aircraft. After a few minutes however in conversation with one of the student-builders, disbelief generally turned into absolute amazement.


Ugh!! Back Riveting mistake!! ...Jeff

I just KNOW that I am the only one to do this, but just in case I'm wrong, here's what I did. I am in the process of backriveting the stiffeners onto the aileron skin. Everything was going well when I started riveting this rivet and discovered that the back plate had shifted and I had nothing for the rivet head to rest on for the flush finish. Wound up with a slight but unsightly divit in the surface of the skin.

I've already redimpled the hole but the entire thing still has this divit.. Wondering what magic procedure will help flatten this area around a new rivet... perhaps setting it back in the backing plate and then slightly hammering either with slow rivet gun or manual hammer, over a small socket that would surround the dimple, but drive down on the skin. Also has to the stiffener to help in the process.. I was hoping to send a few pics, but I can't seem to be able to do that, which is also very frustrating!!


Making the EFIS Look More 'Boeing Like'

The 'goal' was to have the MFD show me the things that might hit me, and the basic nav points...and not much else.  De-clutter a bit by playing around some in Setup and Map Display settings.  Zooming in beyond the 3nm level shows all the private and unpaved strips for an emergency (I could also hit the 'NRST' button of course).  Force it to stay in 'night mode' to turn the background dark.  Turn off topography.  Moved the engine stats strip along the top over to the PFD.  You get the idea...

Still fiddling with it, and until they add a 'Boeing mode' for the nav screen I think I can make due just fine with this.  Less is more (for me and nav).

The role model: Boeing nav screen...
Photographer anon. (I owe him lunch though).

My RV-6 PDF and MFD on a fuel run.
RNAV 17 active and approaching glide slope capture.
click to enlarge)


RV Over French Enclave ...Vlad pics


DIY Field Notes ...a.k.a. How I queue up content for the site

I have a very non-standard career, as you already know. The workflow requires being around a computer of some sort pretty much 24/7. And since I'm always looking for content for the next day's edition, I'm forever searching for the perfect way to remember tiny bits of information for later.  You can probably relate.

It could be a reminder to promote something that's coming up this weekend (and maybe I remembered that while I was eating lunch at Wendy's). It could be the thread number of a particularly interesting topic in the forums I saw using my phone, somebody I met at the fuel pump at a nearby airport inspires a few paragraphs of copy, etc. Grocery lists.  After a flight I put 5-10 words and the time flown (#deer, approaches flown, etc)...I'll put it in the logbook when I get home.  Multiple input sources....one struggling brain that wasn't trained as a writer (but is trying).

I've tried capturing this information into a pocket digital recorder, into 3-4 apps on my phone over the years, on little pieces of paper in my back pocket and a dozen other methods all in the name of efficiency. I keep coming back to something similar to the 'Field Notes' pocket-sized notebook.  But those are too thick for my pocket.

Of course, being a pilot, the idea of spending $10 for three little paper books....well, you know how that's gonna go.  I love the DIY internet sites, and they didn't let me down.

A piece of cardboard folded that was on the back of something we got in the mail, five sheets of printer paper folded over, cut and stapled down the spine and I am in business. Trimmed to the exact size for the side pocket in my shorts with gardening sheers. If I have $.10 invested in this thing I'd be surprised. And I can build another one in about 60 seconds when I fill this one up over the course of about 2-3 weeks.  Keeping the page count small keeps it thin enough to not get on your pocket's nerves.

If you go to the actual Field Notes site, you'll see each "model" has a back story associated with it, I guess to connect to the hipster crowd maybe?  I remember Cabbage Patch kids, and that's what that reminded me of. ;^)

I'm a pilot, and an RV builder, and that means I'm thrifty by default.....so of course I'm perfectly fine with a notepad I made out of junk mail ;^).

Seriously, these things are nice to have in your pocket. It's faster to get the information down with a short series of words and symbols than it is to type it in some 'improved app', IMHO.  The cardboard is industrial this time around and should hold out over its short life.  Also, if I drop it in the toilet it won't stop working and cost $500 to replace.  A good mechanical pencil, or a cheap fountain pen with a medium nib that slops out a ton of cheap ink, and Baby, you got a stew going!  I hope you clicked on that link and laughed...

I wrote this 'article' as a matter of fact using little one word topics that I assembled over a couple days in the corner of one of the pages.

So here's the latest 'VAF Field Notes' pad, complete with doodling on the cover.  Its life will be brief, but productive.

Yours in thrift...



October 27, 2016.   Issue No. 4,234.
  Odd request.  Might someone have a 1970-1980 DFW sectional showing 52F labeled as 'Aero Valley'?  A picture from your cell emailed to me would suffice just fine.  I have a sectional from 1967 (below), but the airport wasn't there yet.  Tanx,
[ed. Update a couple hours later....thank you Troy Stegemoeller for sending me the exact pic I needed!  v/r,dr]


2 1/2 Year Old son's first flight in my RV-7 ...Trevor Conroy

Yesterday evening I took my 2 1/2 year old son, Charlie, up in my RV-7 for the first time! As a father and professional pilot, there was nothing more rewarding than seeing the smile on his face! He has ridden with my wife and I in his car seat in the back of a C-182 on a few previous occasions but this was a completely different experience for both of us. My father and I spent 5 long years building the -7 and to now fly my son in an airplane I built is sure a special experience. <g>

Over the course of the last several months, I've brought Charlie out to the hangar with me to tinker on the airplane so he could get familiar with it and identify it as ours. Then I started putting him in the right seat and securing the harness and turning on the panel so he could see it light up. Being only 2 1/2, I didn't want him to be able to play with the control stick so had to add an electrical connector where the right stick break is so that it could be completely removed. I also made some cushions to raise him up and forward in the seat. Last week I strapped him in and we taxi'd around the airport a little bit so I could gauge how well he would do. He loved it and said he wanted to go fly! I made him wait a couple more days just to be sure. Last night I strapped him in and skyward we went! I had planned to take-off and fly the pattern to an immediate landing but once we were on downwind I asked him if he wanted to keep going and he said YES so we ventured out a couple miles before heading back. On the drive home all he could talk about was flying in "dadda's airplane". Truly a special day for both of us!

Now I won't feel as bad leaving my wife and two kids at home when I want to go flying on the weekends. My wife will be thrilled for me to take Charlie to burn some 100LL with me <g>.


Texas Fastback 2.0 ...Arlie Conner

124TT has made it safely to its new home in Germany. I hope the new owners enjoy the heck out of it. We decided to build another fastback, this time starting with a somewhat blank canvas with a partially completed kit. We thought we looked it over pretty good but I guess not good enough. I'm not going to mention any names or where I got it, but we have already run into a major screw up that requires major surgery. It requires removing and replacing the top and lower longerons and the firewall weldments that they attach to. Hopefully after this is done we can actually go forward with this build instead of going backwards. I would like to know how others have solved this problem of getting the correct edge distance and fit?


New to the 8 forum ...Arlie Conner again!

We have been flying our "new to us" RV-8 for a little over a month now and it is everything we wanted in a plane. Aerobatic, great cross country machine, and best of all, I can finally carry a passenger that weighs more than 180lbs. Don't get me wrong, our RV-4 was all of the above plus a blast to fly, but just quite didn't fit our needs as far as the back seater goes. I'm 250lbs and ride comfortably in the back.


EUREKA!! Probable Hot #3 Cylinder Reason Found ...Galin

I have been fighting an intermittent hot #3 cylinder on my Lycoming O360 for years and nothing seemed to work. When the problem arose I had to run the engine quite rich to bring the #3 CHT to just under 400F but at the same time the the other cylinders were at least 50 degrees cooler. Worst still on many flight the CHT's were fine and all 4 cylinders were very close to each other. I tried changing the CHT probe with no luck and my baffling was perfect, or so I thought. Pardon the pun, but this was baffling.

After reading a completely un unrelated thread here on inexpensive borescopes, I bought a Vividia VA-400 Borescope. Out of curiosity I used the borescope and looked into the firewall with the cowl on. I found that, when installed, the top cowl was folding part of the baffling down and almost completely blocking air only to, you guessed it, the #3 cylinder head.  more


SERFI '16 RV Champs

Tom Goddard RV-8
Chris Sells RV-8
Randy Pflanzer RV-12
Scott Millhouse RV-12



October 26, 2016.   Issue No. 4,233.

More pics from the 3rd Annual Primitive Camping Fly-in ...joe rainbolt

It was nice to meet you all. I'm sorry I missed a few because I had to leave so early, perhaps next year.  It was a scenic trip over the mountains from Grass Valley that passes Lake Tahoe to my left:


jcaplins pics...

I was a bit apprehensive because this was my first flight out of my phase 1 box. The Saturday weather was perfect in the morning, winds calm in the California central valley and forecasted to be increasing at bit in the afternoon. Worried about the increasing winds I was hoping for an early departure as a flight of 2. Wingman (Lars) was running late, everything else was a ‘go,’ so I opted to head out 1st.


Rest in Peace Mr. Bob Hoover


High Sierra Fly In 2016 ...Bluelabel


A 'commercial' from the mothership ;^) ...Adam Burch

"Van's Aircraft recently visited the Petit Jean, Arkansas fly-in, and we were reminded again of what a fantastic community the 9,500 strong RV builders have formed all over the world!"


52F Update ...where I'm based.

Majority in ALL sectors
"Every property owner under either the AVDCO or Hyde restrictions is now governed under a single document: the Integrated Deed Restrictions.  The POA’s elected board of directors are now the airport’s sole governing authority.  As far as our immediate objectives are concerned, Tim will have dirt moving on the east side of the runway within the next couple of weeks. We will begin the rest of the work ASAP.  The property owners at NW Regional Aero Valley Airport have 'knocked down the Berlin Wall'.  Test holes to determine if work can begin on the drainage improvement project were dug this past weekend.  Looked good.  The new runway is coming.  More to follow... 

As of 10/23/2016...

10/25/2016 photos by doug reeves.


Panel Update Pics/Report ...Tony T



October 25, 2016.   Issue No. 4,232.

3rd Annual Primitive Camping PIREPs Coming In ...Scott and Lars


Petit Jean Shortfall - In Case You Want to Chip In ...Tanya Card

The gathering on the mountain was fantastic but had one giant snag this year, about 36 hours of not a soul being able to land at Petit Jean due to low ceilings and poor visibility. Fortunately, everyone stayed safe, whether it be at alternate airports or by staying home. Nicely done everyone!

However, all the shenanigans put the EAA group hosting the event in the hole by about a couple grand. Actually, I'm amazed the loss wasn't a whole lot larger considering a little more than half of the planned attendees arrived. That was due to generous folks paying the full-weekend registration fee even if they only made it in Saturday afternoon, others adding random amounts to their registration fee, people buying more raffle tickets than they would have otherwise, and other creative ways to help contribute to the kitty. To these folks, THANK YOU MUCH!

Many others have expressed interest in trying to help offset the deficit. If you want to chip in, anything you might care to part with would be appreciated by EAA 165, the volunteers who work their tails off, and those that have gotten to enjoy the event or will in the future. Bill has already said this isn't going to stop Petit Jean 2017, but I think we should give them all the reasons to not pause a single moment in continuing to put in the exceptional effort that they do every year even while knowing Mother Nature may choose to not cooperate and throw them deep into the red.

For those so inclined, checks should be made payable to EAA 165 and mailed to:
Bill Schlatterer
43 Masters Place Drive
Maumelle, AR. 72113

Thanks for being a part of this fantastic group of aviators and friends.


(from Dan Horton)
Last year Ms. Patti was laying in a hospital bed, still partially paralyzed after a stroke. I went home to get a shower and some clothes, and found an email from Bill, announcing the date for PJ 2015. Ms. P wasn't yet speaking well enough to answer the phone, so I sent her a text..."Just got the date for PJ, you want to go?". She propped her phone in her lap and one-fingered with her left hand, "**** yes", and it was what she worked towards the rest of the year.

Last week was our sixth time at PJ...and I doubt I could drag Patti to Oshkosh with a Learjet. Yeah Tanya, we're in.

Dinner for 200+ at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute isn't free, nor are the transport vans, the big tent, the catered BBQ, or anything else. To make it work, it's my understanding that the Arkansas gang has to guarantee around $16,000, with the knowledge that a shortfall has to come from their own pockets.

Hey, let's be real. The PJ guys don't need our money. They are uniformly bright, successful people, and getting stuck with the tab won't break them. On the other hand, I'd be seriously ashamed to stick 'em with it after they've hosted me and mine so graciously all these years...and if you're a PJ regular, I suspect you feel the same way.

So, here's the deal. Let's think high, and kick in $100 each. Forty or fifty hard-core PJ fans can fix last week's weather disaster, and start a little nest egg for next year so our friends don't have to worry. It's just doing something nice in return for all they've done for us.

How about it? Will you match me?


3D printed washer wrench ...dwranda

I bought my wife a 3d printer for mothers day to have fun with making things for her craft hobby. Yesterday I gave her a useful project idea(not that her crafty things aren't useful). I had her design and print a washer wrench. I tried it out and it works pretty well. I'll just have her change it a little when I need different sizes. Technology is amazing!


Vac's Transition Training Syllabus PIREP ...bruceinuse

Just completed a dual check-out in my newly acquired RV-4 with Vac over the weekend using this syllabus as our reference. I would thoroughly recommend this document, which Vac must have spent years perfecting, as the gold standard for those aspiring to fly an RV, as well as an invaluable reference source for experienced RV drivers.

Bruce Macdonald.
(Airbus test pilot, formerly airline pilot and F-16 test pilot, and now an RV-4 owner/pilot with that Vans RV grin from ear to ear)

download: HERE





October 24, 2016.   Issue No. 4,231.

Adam Burch iPhone photo in the RV-14 demonstrator
returning from Petit Jean.  Columbia River Gorge.
(click to enlarge)


Pecan Plantation Fly-in Pics ...opens new window.

Susie and I flew down to 0TX1 Saturday to catch up with folks we don't visit enough - couldn't have asked for better weather (track).  Had a couple of hot dogs, caught up with RV friends and flew back home to go to the grocery store.  Everyone there at Pecan is very nice, and they put on a very enjoyable gathering.

Sorry for the small number of pics....the camera battery was on fumes and I didn't plan well enough ;^).  One RV had interesting cowl access doors, and I did get (3) pics of that.  The builder mentioned the top flap minimized hot start issues with fuel injection.  Said the engine would cool off much faster...


HDX Builder Notification Letter ...mothership

"Van's is working on integrating this new panel into the RV-12, but this will not be available as an ASTM approved avionics kit for some months. The panel cut out needs to change for a different size and mounting holes (or a blanking plate will need to be installed). In addition, we need to design and test the new screen layout and software configuration files specific to the RV-12.This will take a couple of months after we receive a beta test HDX screen, which should be in late October 2016. So we anticipate HDX screens being available for the RV-12 early in 2017."


Sedona ...rightrudder video


1st Attempt at Vinyl Wrapping ...RGLives


Engineer Wanted ...mothership

"Van's Aircraft has a new position for an engineer. We are looking for an applicant with a passionate interest in the kit aircraft industry. This position requires a broad mechanical/engineering background and the ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously."


Panel Upgrade Update / Pics ...Tony T



October 21, 2016.   Issue No. 4,230.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.

Deer and a zoom lens...via RV-6.  dr

Ep6. Touring Adelaide & Homemade Flying World Records ...haydnc (Australia)

We head out into Adelaide and find the South Australian Aircraft Museum. Inside we found this famous RV-4, that belonged to Jon Johanson. The aircraft has made multiple trips around the world and to the south pole.  continue


Dealing with the anxiety of the flight test phase

I am 6 hours into my flight test phase and am definitely struggling with the anxiety of everything that could go wrong.

For background - I have been flying for 25 years, have a little over 500 hours in Cessnas and have an instrument rating (though not current).

So far nothing really scary has happened with possible exception of finding a small engine compartment fuel leak AFTER a recent flight test.

Yesterday I flew for about an hour - at 5000 feet agl, right over top of my airport. Yet even with the altitude and proximity to home, my anxiety level continued to grow the longer I was up.

I did distract myself by doing the CAS tests but as soon as they were done I did a "how am I doing check?". I decided that my anxiety level was reaching my limit.

I wanted to stay up longer to get the 40 hours down, and the weather was beautiful, but I had just reached my stress limit. So, i reduced power and managed a decent landing.

I don't think I ever really considered how the flight test phase would affect me. I was so busy building and besides, not many people talk about this subject.

I presume the more I fly the easier this will get, but that doesn't really help me right now.

I was wondering if anyone had any tips for dealing with the anxiety of flight testing?



Coldfoot Alaska ...Vlad

Early August 2016. Temperatures in high thirties winds from the North 15 knots peak gusts 21.


1st attempt at video ...Gene Mohr

Today I took the GoPro Hero 3 Black that I have had, well since it came out.  1st time editing and creating this little vid. Just a 1.5 hr flight to pick up a couple of the SCAA Ambassador Passport program stamps. Let me know what you experts think


Jacumba!  ....Vlad

Balmy 100F in California on early August morning. I am still frozen from Alaska and need to warm up.


David Paule -3B Update



October 20, 2016.   Issue No. 4,229.

Hump Day Hop: $8.50

The tracker data called it 18 minutes (included taxiing), but my stopwatch showed 14 min 32 sec from runway ON to runway OFF.  Wednesday I got in a short flight over to see our friend who waves from the porch, then the final segment of the KAFW ILS 16L practice approach - WIGZU to missed.  Watching the screen after T/O I saw a few diamonds on final for KAFW, so I went and waved to our friend on the porch first, while monitoring tower/ATIS.  After waving a good morning, I called up KAFW and asked for the practice approach.  Granted.  VFR and CAVU....no visor and safety pilot...just practicing buttons and knobs and trims.

On GS, the tower amended my landing clearance, raising the missed approach altitude from 200' AGL to 500' AGL.  Curveball that involves math!

Barely got the engine hot, but 1) time was spent off the surface, 2) oil was moved about and 3) skills were worked on for about what I'd estimate was $8.50 in avgas.  Kay was on the run up ramp in his 8A when I was turning base to final, so I knew the landing would be graded and no mercy given if I pooched it.  "8 out of 10" was his call over the radio <grin>.  He needs his eyes checked - that hop was barely a hop.

Back on the computer climbing Mt. Email and other grown up tasks three minutes out of the plane - the day had peaked.  Thank you again Van's Aircraft, for the best therapy there is.  Alumitherapy.


Greetings! ...Jeff Goostree of Rogers, AR

Joining the RV world and dropping a note to say hello.  My wife and I were able to attend the Petit Jean gathering this past weekend for our 1st RV fly in and had a great experience for the short time we were there. We are from NW Arkansas and I'm in the market for an RV-8, welcome any and all suggestions.

Again hello, thanks for the warm welcome this past weekend and glad to be aboard.

Best regards!!



RV-8 Status Report Pics ...Martin Filiatrault

There have been a few more updates on my Blogspot RV-8 Blog; click on the blogspot link by my signature to check it out. Topics include attending the Sherwin-Williams Aerospace Coatings Training Program and further progress on the shop heater and paint booth. I'll have to share this highlight: Today I took my tail feathers for a walk. For the very first time, the empennage has left the nest. I'm making room for the big crates, which should arrive in a couple months.


3rd Annual Primitive Camping Fly-in at Alpine County - Oct 22-23  ...Paul

Although I am sitting in central Florida right now, I just checked the weather for home this weekend, and it is looking marvelous for a fall fly-out! Lo's of 44 (perfect sleeping temps) and a high on Saturday of 71.....doesn't get much better for hiking than that! (OK, those are for our home base....Alpine County is about 1500' higher, so subtract a little - still well above freezing at night - perfect for a campfire.)

If you didn't have this on your list, but you're looking for a nice destination this weekend, come and join us - no reservations, no fees, no nothin'....except good company and a hopefully clear sky for the night.


RV-12 Upgrade Pics / Status ...Tony T


Courtesy Car List Updated


Mothership Totals



October 19, 2016.   Issue No. 4,228.

Sid Mayeux and Rob Reece discussing
Rob's RV-8 build at the Van Cave.

How I Met Gayle ...Roger Kellogg

Chasing the setting sun toward the west, the prairie glides past beneath my silver wing. The heat of the autumn day fades seamlessly to the chill of night. Farm buildings, small rural villages, a pickup truck on a dusty road, a combine harvesting corn in the lengthening autumn shadows, all are oblivious as I sail overhead. They fade behind me without protest as more blossom into view ahead.

Glancing down I see a silver twisting path of trains, stretching off to the far horizon. The steel rails glow bright orange in the reflected light of the setting sun. I follow them until a speeding Amtrak creeps slowly into view. It is half-filled with passengers, travelers, strangers, each anticipating a new day, a new place, and a new view.

Slowing, turning, I descend toward the fields, paralleling the silver rails. The lights in the coaches create halos around passenger’s faces. A woman leans against a window, long brown hair, gentle brown eyes; she reads a paperback novel to the rhythm of the clicking rails. It’s a tale about a man who travels, always travels, longing for a companion to share a view of the world that slides beneath him. He looks down on those around him, not because he feels superior in any way, but rather he just has a different point of view. She understands why he travels. She travels, too. She dreams of a different place, a fresh perspective, a new point of view.

She lowers the paperback to her lap, and thoughtfully glances out the window, seeking a different perspective. Initially she sees her own reflection in the window, and then shifts her focus to the shiny metal plane, silhouetted against the glowing western sky. She smiles. I pull alongside and return her smile. I reach out my hand to touch hers, and she is in the seat beside me. Pulling back on the stick we climb, up, away from the clutter of the surface, climbing into the soft, cool, creamy dark of the night.

A full moon peeks above the horizon beyond my left shoulder, climbing to take its place to watch over the night. We travel on, watching time go by. Together. Us. We. Sharing a new point of view.

FWIW, haven't written much lately, but this was inspired by a line from a recent epic post, note the plagiarized line, thanks, Vlad!

- Roger


RV-8 Inflight Photos...SuperCubDriver in Germany

Last Sunday I went up together with a Mooney to take some pics during formation flying, I thought I share some here. I should work on the background though, there were very nice photos in the past from other RV´s. Enjoy


RV Probable Cause List Updated

(617) probable cause documents going back 38.3 years. 

Research.  Discuss.  Reflect.  Learn. 



PJ Words and Pics ...crabandy

The Petit Jean Fly-In really is a Gathering, a mixture of like minded people from across the US (ahem...and possibly the UK) with the same interests sharing stories and experiences around food, airplanes, campfires and hiking trails.

Being my second trip to Petit Jean I recognized a lot of faces and hope I was a little better with names, I also met a lot of new RV'ers. It was my second oldest daughter Mya's first trip to PJ, our second daddy daughter date in the airplane. She does get a little bored flying but was really looking forward to the dinners, especially the dessert table. She took a picture of every dessert on the table and txt'd them to the Homefront, she settled on the chocolate cake and wasn't disappointed!  continue


Panel Upgrade ...Tony T begins

Started on a SV upgrade for my RV12 .  There are two ways to go on this, you can use the conversion harnesses or better but more expensive and time consuming is to pull all the old harnesses and install the latest. I am going the latter way.


Charity Cap Sighting

...courtesy Gary Sobek at the Smithsonian Air&Space Museum [ed. Thank you Gary! dr]

fmi: About the cap...



October 18, 2016.   Issue No. 4,227.
  In yesterday's edition I mentioned I had an 'old' computer at the hangar that was giving me some grief. It was locked into Microsoft Vista and I couldn't install a more modern browser past Internet Explorer version 7.  No modern browser site will let you download their browser on a Vista-running box (I tried I.E., Chrome and Firefox).  Reader Alex Bell e-mailed me and suggested I save a copy of the new Firefox install executable to a memory stick using an updated computer, then run the install from the stick on the old computer.
  It worked like a charm. Thank you very much Alex! You saved me from having to go spend a couple hundred dollars buying a 'new and improved' computer. I can access my cloud-based accounting software and some flight tracking and Wx sites running javascript right there in the hangar now - if I only run one thing at a time :-).
  Thank you again Alex!


A leisurely flight with a friend ...Brad Benson

A friend and I joined up and went for a nice leisurely flight this summer. It was a nice relaxing sortie that lasted about 1.3hrs.

Note parachute...


PJ Recap ...Bill Schlatterer

It's amazing to me when folks like something so much they offer to pay for it ...even when they got none of it Wow.... you just have to think about that a little bit! Thanks to everyone for the offers and we'll let you know how it goes when the dust settles but more important, here is a short story about the weekend. This is the short one but know that there are lots of short and long stories about the journey and new friends found in odd places

Petit Jean Airport and Campground was in better shape than it has ever been. Lots more grass parking on really solid (when dry) ground. Great menus, fun stuff, the waterfalls were spectacular ... and so on. But then Friday happened. Forecasts were for rain Thursday night, blowing through and VFR mid morning. Not a big deal ....and they blew through all right but it left a lot of moisture in the air. All around the mountain, we had pretty good marginal VFR if there is such a thing with 1,000 -1,400 OVC viz 6+ but the trees on the airport are at 1,1,00 MSL and that meant KPMJ was like 300 ovc with vis obsured in the morning. It was supposed to lift after lunch and occasionally hinted at it but nothing really changed for more than minutes at a time.  continue


My 'New' (to me) RV-4 ...mbuehler

Here's a few shots of my "new to me" 2004 RV4 SN#142.  Made my first flight a few days ago, absolutely love it!


N410CT first flight ...Claudio Tonnini RV-14

Claudio Tonnini's RV-14 had it's maiden flight today. All went well.  Claudio is located at Old Bridge, NJ (3N6).


Status Report ...rv6builder

Here's a hybrid- Couldn't do away with the old round engine gauges!


From the mothership FB page...

"We've finally made the big time! Arrowhead Stadium 49 ship RV flyover commemorated on a McDonalds cup. Photo courtesy of Cathy White Page."


PJ PIREP ...MikeyDale

PJ 2016 was a great "weather" learning experience for my lovely Co-pilot and I! We flew from our farm in West Texas 300 miles to Sherman. The first half of that leg was MVFR but lifting all the way. Stopped for some gas in Sherman, Tx and checked the weather again for PJ and central and North Arkansas but we already knew from looking at Mr Dynon on the first leg, it was not lifting there like the forecast predicted. At 5:30, we declared a "No Go". But, we spent the night with my son and his family who live near Sherman. 3 little grandkids were sure surprised so that made up for the disappointment. But, I was sure thinking about that dinner spread at the lodge waiting for us! As soon as we saw some breaks in the clouds in Sherman next morning we headed to the airport but waited till 10:00am to take off because clouds just wasn't lifting over those mountains between us an PJ very fast! We still flip flopped from on top of clouds to beneath the clouds most the way and diverted a little north to follow the Arkansas River east for the last twenty miles before landing at PJ amidst a swarm of RV's at about 11:30 am!....We have been flying with our new ADSB weather for 18 months now and it takes the cake!.....  continue


Fall Colors ...Pete Howell

Just past peak here in the Twin Cities.....It was a great day to fly!!


RV-8 Air-to-Air Photo Shoot ...colojo

Hired a professional aerial photographer to take some air-to-air shots of me flying my RV-8 a couple weeks ago. Here are some of the better shots that came back. These were taken over downtown Denver, Boulder and the Front Range.



October 17, 2016.   Issue No. 4,226.
  You know that surplus 2008 Dell PC running Vista I wiped back to factory defaults and took out to the hangar so I'd have a *real* computer to work with there?  QuickBooks online, webmail, etc.  Nothing too crazy - work the to-do list a little easier than on the smart phone.  Well, it only works on about 1 out of 5 web pages running that OS with I.E. v7.  Can't upgrade I.E..  Can't upgrade to Win10.  Won't install Chrome or Firefox.  Just too old...too slow.  Vista has left the building....   I'm a 1965 model....what hope is there for me?  Anyone need a boat anchor <grin>.
  OK, on to the Monday edition of VAF News.  Hope you enjoy it and hope that you had a nice weekend.

Put-in-Bay ...Steve Melton

A hop to the island in Ohio?  Yes, Ohio has islands.... in Lake Erie!  continue


Pennsylvania Flying Farmers ...Vlad

Less then an RV hour north of my base I've discovered several uncharted airstrips. They all belong to farmers. This past weekend there was a flyin on one of them and I was invited. Beautiful day.


More RV wins at aerobatic contests

The results of the Mason-Dixon Aerobatic contest in VA are posted, and our Ron Schreck won all three sequences (gold medals), and the first place plaque.  Oliver Spatscheck in his RV8 and first contest placed 2nd in Primary. There are only three more contests this year- Keene, NH, Sebring, FL, and Marana, Arizona. Two RVs are preregistered for Sebring, but expect a couple more will compete.  Our aerobatic consultant/mentor/ and RV advocate placed 1st in the Unlimited. Way to Go, Eric.  This has definitely been the year of the RVs in aerobatics. Next year should be even better


Thank You AFS ...LARCO

"Today is Saturday so here I am messing with the AFS EFIS and I goofed it up somehow and thinking that just maybe there would be someone at the factory, I called, left a message and within a short time Rob is on the phone. He took the time on the weekend to help and with a great attitude. I really like this Company and everyone that works there! Thanks Rob, I really appreciated the help. Larry"


From Sid Mayeaux at the Alliance Airshow (Fort Worth, TX)


Three Frontiers ...Vlad


Shop Update Pics ...scard

(Friday) As I have a little time waiting on the weather at Petit Jean this evening, how about a shop update. We have Power! Wow, what a difference to be able to put away the long extension cord from the house. After paint and being able to terminate all of the branch circuits I hooked up the service entry from the pole. I'm happy to report that I released no blue smoke.


Thanks from Jesse

...for all the kind words on the new kiddo.


PSA for my RV Buddy Jim Pappas

  "We have a new website for folks that might be interested in the Charleston, SC area.  The company name is Kiawah Seabrook Properties.  We provide Residential Real Estate, Vacation Rentals and Property Management Services on Kiawah, Seabrook, Wadmalaw and Johns Islands. Depending on where you stay on them you are never more than 15 miles from Downtown Charleston, SC.
  The local airport here on Johns Island is called Charleston Executive and is known as KJZI.  We can pick anybody up at the airport it’s 5 minutes from our house Kiawahseabrookproperties.com 
Jim and Beata"


APRS iGate Now Online at the Van Cave (sorta)

For the benefit of the APRS crowd around my neck of the woods.  This would not have gone as smoothly as it did without the help of Glen Salmon of AirPRS.com fame. He was kind enough to configure a $35 Raspberry Pi for me. "Just plug it into your router and power it up and it should work."  It did.  Within 60 seconds of power-up the icon appeared online.  Go to www.aprs.fi and search for KG5PRB-1 in the top search box if you want to see for yourself.

I built found a 'case' for it by using the to go container from my breakfast Saturday morning - Berry Almond Swiss Oatmeal from Corner Bakery with added walnuts and bananas. 10 seconds under the running water in the bathroom sink followed by 15 seconds under the leaf blower and I had something to work with :-).

I still have to run the long antennae cable up to the roof of the hangar and install a proper antenna for it to work as intended, but everything works currently if the hangar door is open and I'm nearby.  Thanks again to Glen and the other self-professed nerds of the world that make the zeros and ones hum!



October 14, 2016.   Issue No. 4,225.

Sometimes the weather just doesn't cooperate

...RV-14 visit to the Van Cave scrubbed due to Wx.

Adam and Sterling were on their way to my hangar Thursday afternoon and weather got between them and me. I got a call from Adam saying they landed in Joplin, Missouri and the new plan was to spend the night in a hotel there.   They will push on to Petit Jean Friday.  So, if you were hoping to see the RV-14 demonstrator at my hangar Friday morning, I'm sorry to say it won't be there.

You can see a screen grab of the weather here. The numbers are cloud ceilings in hundreds of feet.  The storms were moving West to East.

Adam texted me to tell everyone that he is a "meteorologist with a keen sense of preservation - and Sterling was flying with a healthy dose of caution and prudence". Comedy aside those are actually good words to fly by.

It wasn't a complete loss. I washed the sheets in the guest rooms and even cleaned the bathroom.  I still get to enjoy that… :-)   It needed cleaning.

Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend!


Warning - Suction cup mounts may damage your canopy during prolonged uses ...AX-O

Please be careful with your canopy and video camera suction mounts. Or any other suction mounts. Prolonged use without removing the suction mount may warp your canopy.

My aircraft spent about a week outside in 80 degree temps during the Reno races. Our crew was very diligent about only removing the canopy cover (Bruce custom) during races and recovering the canopy (Todd clear canopy) once I got out. The canopy was uncovered probably less than 2 hours total the whole week.

My guess is that the heat over the week in combination with the fact that we never removed the camera mounts allowed the canopy to become somewhat malleable. The suction cup on the mount ended up sucking the portion of the canopy where the mount was attached. I did not notice it until I got home. I now have 2 suction cup size indentions on my canopy.


Final Update: Petit Jean '16 ...Bill

Man, are we ever excited! Our group slipped off early from work today to sort out last minute issues like raffle prizes, food confirmations, clearing room reservations, and updating email lists with the very last latest registrations. At the airport, we immediately started the final checking, organizing, and loading of all of the gear, golf carts, food trucks, ice chests, and cold drinks. All that plus another trailer load of stuff that it takes to handle 130 registered airplanes on RV Mountain. We’ve mowed the grass, swept the ramp, and all it lacks is 100+ RVs :--) ... That’s where you come in !

It’s going to be a great weekend and here are the last few things you need to know:  continue


Welcome South Florida Sport Aviation

"We are pleased to announce the latest installation we’ve had at South Florida Sport Aviation. Charlie Nugent’s beautiful RV-10 came in with the bare bones for a full interior upgrade package and Air Conditioning. Some minor alterations were made on the panel with two tone paint and repositioning of the throttle cables. The remote auto pilot panel was installed on the Throttle Console for optimized ergonomics but pictures speak for themselves."



Painted ...Dbro172

Well it's no longer mine but the new Owner sent be pics of her in her new dress. I guess I can call it finished now. She now lives at Spruce Creek:



October 13, 2016.   Issue No. 4,224.
Saddleback in SoCal ...rightrudder 9A

I wanted to go to Sedona today, but far too much turbulence and gusty conditions at the destination. So I did my normal lunch run to French Valley, but this time via the coastal side of Saddleback, two peaks at about 5500' that form a backdrop for South Orange County. I wish the marine layer had come all the way to the mountains...would have looked cooler.

Climb-out from French Valley was awesome. Cooler temps (mid 80s) allowed for a really aggressive climb...1900 fpm with me and about a half load of fuel aboard! Fun! The performance of our planes makes it so easy to climb and pop over Class C airspace. If I had gone the low route, it would have been a lot bumpier.

Not on the video, but I went over March AFB on the way back and saw a couple of B-52s on the ramp.


Final Update: Petit Jean '16 ...Bill

Man, are we ever excited! Our group slipped off early from work today to sort out last minute issues like raffle prizes, food confirmations, clearing room reservations, and updating email lists with the very last latest registrations. At the airport, we immediately started the final checking, organizing, and loading of all of the gear, golf carts, food trucks, ice chests, and cold drinks. All that plus another trailer load of stuff that it takes to handle 130 registered airplanes on RV Mountain. We’ve mowed the grass, swept the ramp, and all it lacks is 100+ RVs :--) ... That’s where you come in !

It’s going to be a great weekend and here are the last few things you need to know:  continue


E-MAG Service Note:

(from Brad Dement)  "We've learned that a small percentage of units handled by our shop in the last couple of years (during select periods) may have suffered a process defect during assembly. In certain instances the four internal bolts that secure the case (square section) to the nose (round section) were installed without thread-lock. We estimate this may have occurred in a dozen or so units - out of 359 handled in the review window. To date, we have seen two instances of nose/case loosening, both in the first 30 hours of operation.  For more information go to "Case Bolts"

We regret any inconvenience, but safety is or primary concern. Please feel free to call or email if you have specific questions."

Brad Dement
E-MAG Ignitions
817 444 5310


RV Team Chile Air Display ...Hernan

During these week end we make our first season presentation in Ovalle, Chile.

Our presentation meets all the local regulations.


The Tracker She Is A Working

I've sort of busted the avgas budget for the next week or so, so this is probably the last flight longer than about 12 min. for a bit. Anyway, now that I have the APRS tracker installed I thought I would go out to nearby Decatur and fly and honest-to-goodness RNAV approach to missed on autopilot and see how it tracked.  D> IAF at ZUMKI and then as published. Direct RTB at missed.  38min 18sec runway to runway.

I guess I'll just go ahead and declare the tracker "works exactly as advertised". Can't ask for more than that!


From the mothership FB...




October 12, 2016.   Issue No. 4,223.
Congratulations 1st place Sportsman

Congratulations to Patric Coggins for his first place finish out 9 in the IAC sportsman category at the Rocky Mountain Oyster Invitation in Lamar, CO in his RV-4. If he used the same free style he used at the Nationals, it would have included both an inverted and upright spin. There are only a couple more contests left this year to show the RVs (with lots of practice) can bring home the goodies.
Cheers, and thumbs up Patric,
Bill McLean
RV-4 slider

Patric beat out three Pitts, four Super Decathlons and a Skybolt.  Bill McLean and Patric at the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships studying routine and peeling an orange respectively.


It's time for Glass ...Philip 6A

When I started to build my RV-6A back in 1997 I decided that a good 6-pack of steam gauges were relatively inexpensive, reliable, easy to install, and companies had been around since the Wright Brothers. Glass was new, no clear indications the companies would be around for service, and as a aero/mechanical engineer, glass had way too much electrical stuff to learn about (I shy away from electronics like other do fiberglass). My flying is VFR with limited cross country so I have never needed anything fancy. With the advent of the iPad, I added glass on my knee with all the great charts and ADS-B weather and traffic. Now after 8 years of building and 10 years of flying I have seen the light of glass.

Below is a picture of my panel. I still like it and would not even be thinking of changing except items have begun to fail and maybe instead of repairing/replacing, it is finaly time to upgrade.  continue


1 day of transition training ...Gene Mohr 6A

I can't stop grinning. 1.2hrs of transition training. Stalls, steep turns, approaches and landings. Man this airplane flies sooo nice. I actually found it easier to land than the Cessna 172 I trained in for my PPL. Very stable at all attitudes, stall was non eventful. Buffet and then then nose drops and powers away. I am loving it


New Certificate Issued ...Jesse

Birth certificate, that is.   Madalyn Faith Saint was born this morning at 5:53.


Fuel Run Track ...adjusting to life w/an APRS tracker.

KDTO (Denton, TX) is 5 minutes North of my home field by RV and avgas is always cheaper.  I never buy fuel at my home field - ALWAYS cheaper elsewhere.  Usually a lot cheaper.  Airborne at 0822 and back 30 minutes later.  Logged 16 minutes.  Smooth air and some practice interacting with a tower swamped with training students from other countries.  Worked me in just fine.  The tracker showed a flight of a half hour, but I was really only flying 13 minutes or so, and 3 more taxiing.  I even turned the tracker off at DTO while refueling - it stitched the two flights together I guess.  Maybe it has a smallest time interval or some logic that guesses.  Still playing with things and learning what to expect.

Tate called from school with a migraine about the time I was climbing in the car for home.  Had him tucked in shortly after and was on Mr. Mom detail.  Better now.  Spent the rest of the day on the computer and phone working.

I got to fly, I got gas, I got to parent.  Win win win.

DTO has good APRS coverage I'm guessing.
It found me at the pump after I filled up (lower right).


Tailwheel Fairing Re-do ...Lucaperazzolli

After a lot of sanding and bonding process I decided that 3D Printer could be a better (and modern) idea. So I jump into the learning process to 3D design with a cheap software (Devfus); here first results, the general idea is to create a negative model with a 3D Printer.

Stay tuned, I'll keep you updated.


Grove Gear Upper Brake Line Plumbing Pictures ...multiple sources



October 11, 2016.   Issue No. 4,222. 

Primer Test ...from the factory

(click to enlarge).  photo by Van's Aircraft, Inc.

"Back in 2002, we put a test piece of 2024-T3 alclad aluminum outside under our back stairway to see what level of corrosion protection we are actually getting with the use of the P60-G2 type wash primer. We use P60-G2 on all our company aircraft, and it is also applied to our Quick Build kit sub-assemblies.

The test location was covered overhead and shaded from direct sun, but otherwise exposed to the typical outside air that we experience year around (approximately 60 miles east of the Pacific Ocean coastline).

The test consisted of:

An area scuffed with Scotchbrite™, cleaned, then sprayed with primer (left side).

An area with primer sprayed directly on clean bare material (center).

An area left untreated (right side),

A small portion of the sample was exposed (using lacquer thinner) in 2006 and again in 2010. On both occasions the material underneath the primer was the same as the day the primer was sprayed, but the exposed/unprimed area has developed visible signs of surface corrosion.

We just recently exposed another area and found the same result. Underneath the primer the material looks the same as when it was originally coated. The coated areas that were previously exposed have begun to develop surface corrosion.

Clearly an application of the P60-G2 does provide some level of corrosion protection even without top coating (as recommended by Sherwin Williams). We continue to feel it is an economical and simple to apply option beyond just the bare alclad aluminum.

Not a precisely controlled scientific experiment, to be sure, but a long duration one!"


Condition inspection find

I just completed the condition inspection on my RV8 and thought I would pass on an interesting find. Everything with the aircraft was found to be just fine during the inspection except for the aft bolts that hold the mounting blocks for the flap torque tube. The aft bolts on both sides of the aircraft were backed out between 1/4 and 3/8th's of an inch!


Spaceport America Trip ...Guy Prevost

I’m at least as much of a rocket nut as an airplane nut. For that reason, the opportunity to fly my RV into Spaceport America and land at an airport with a rocket symbol was a big deal for me.  continue


Colorado Fall ...mchargmg words and pics

The weather was great this weekend in Colorado, with almost no turbulence. A perfect day to visit Eagle Colorado.

It is a fairly short flight from KFLY to KEGE, however there are some mountains to deal with. We went the easy way; first to Leadville, then over Tennessee pass, to Avon, and down the valley to Eagle. For the reverse flight, we came back via Weston pass, see below.  continue


1000 hours on plane 700 hours flying it ...Bubblehead

It was a great day for me in Texas Saturday. Beautiful blue Texas skies were calling, and I flew about 4.5 hours over West Texas and New Mexico. Stopped for gas at Lubbock Executive Airport and met some nice people including a Texas Tech Mechanical Engineering student working as a line boy. It was a great day for many reasons but most of all I had no where to be and no time to be there. I flew the direction I wanted, at the altitude I wanted (consistent with FARs of course) and took extra time circling anything interesting.

After flying back to Fort Worth I caught my logbook up. Here are the totals. Not bad for a guy who never flew for pay.

My RV-8 passed 1000 flying hours on Saturday. I am the 4th owner but I now have 700 hours in the plane, 1600 total hours, 900 tail wheel hours, and over 1200 cross country hours since starting training in Galesburg, IL in 1985.

There were a couple of periods since 1985 when I could not fly due to lack of funds or because there was just too much going on in my life, but there has never been a day in my life where I did not love airplanes and dream of flying.

Quite a day, which was beautifully capped off by a Cubs playoff win! Close enough to perfect for me.



October 10, 2016.   Issue No. 4,221.
   Milestone:  Happy Birthday Tate Reeves!!!!!  16 years!!!

Jagger's RV Ride / Hello (APRS) World!

My former coworker and good friend Melanie Emmel has a son named Mason. Mason's best friend is Jagger.  Jagger would like to be a pilot, and Melanie asked me if it would be possible to give him a ride in our RV. Sunday morning I had the pleasure of doing just that. It also gave me an opportunity to use my 'just came in the mail' Micro-Trak AIO APRS tracker (I passed my ham test two weeks ago and received my call sign just a few days back: KG5PRB). The tracker arrived in the mail on Saturday preconfigured. I bought some batteries on the way to the airport Sunday morning and turned it on before we took off. After the flight I looked online and there was our flight right there... About as painless as you could ask for.  Very convenient for passenger debrief!

My first APRS track...(click for the track)

Now that I know it works I'll show the person(s) waiting at the hangar the link on their smartphone - they can follow along.

Jagger did wonderfully. Before takeoff we discussed how I would hand control of the aircraft to him, and how he would hand control back. We took off to the south and made a climbing left turn to downwind. After that we made a sorta-show pass down the runway for Melanie at about 500 feet AGL and then proceeded out to the Northwest to hopefully see our friend who stands on the porch and waves at us. She was there and there were smiles all around.

Then North, and Jagger concentrated on holding an altitude and heading.  He commented more than once on how sensitive it was.  I reminded him each time it would get easier the longer we flew.  I enjoyed seeing the gears mesh in his technique - he got it after just a few moments. After he had that down pretty good I asked for a turn to 090 maintaining 2500 feet. He did fine. Then a turn to 120 - then to 180. Finally, I entered the D> waypoint for the return back to our home field and let him fly "through the boxes" on the EFIS. The last 10 min. of the flight he had really smoothed up and was really starting to enjoy himself.  Talked about Class B airspace on the way and watched airliners above us.  He liked that quite a bit.  Viz was nice and temps were a pleasant 60*F.  Fall in Texas - perfect for a small plane intro flight.

Rob Reece photo.

Had him follow along on the controls (lightly) during the pattern arrival and landing. Smiles all around. The picture of us sitting in the cockpit is right after we landed and was taken by Rob Reece (there in the hangar working on his RV-8). You can see that I have my right headset cup lifted up so I can hear what Melanie is saying, and of course I look like a dork as usual.  A dork wearing Nomex, with a PLB on his shoulder strap, and both wearing Nomex gloves.  And a new APRS tracker.  Teaching safety front and center as lesson #1.  By example.  Safety always.  Safety always!  Safety always!!!

You can also see that I painted the canopy strut brace bright yellow in the last few days (issue #4217 f.m.i.).

Today gave me an opportunity to reflect once again on just how much of an honor it is to help shape someone's initial impression in regards to these wonderful planes.  And, how just a little planning followed with responsible execution can pay off huge dividends on the future of a young adult.  Jagger left both exited about aviation, his future options, and you couldn't help but notice the eagerness to learn and improve.  What an honor to witness that!

When I got home the kids were still asleep <g>.  Audrey is home for the weekend.  Later I added my APRS tracking link to the APRS page.  Progress made.

Hope you have a nice Monday,


Groovy becomes Zeus ...paul330 in South Africa

Not too often you get to "finish" your aircraft twice! G-RVVY has been moved and re-registered as ZU-IIZ. I'll say one thing - the weather in South Africa is a bit better than UK......


It's the field, it's the field!! ...MrNomad

Flying home from Coolidge AZ I got a low current warning. Given that there was no smoke and the engine was happy, I decided to fly to my destination which was 20 min away. I switched EFIS & EMS & GPS to internal battery backup so there was enough juice for flaps and radio.

On the ground, we looked for voltage on the green wire that goes inside the ES 50-12159 connector. Nada!  continue


Little "Oktoberfest" ...SuperCubDriver in Germany

Today I did a fun flight with my new -8 and when I came back I saw "our" girls doing a photoshooting in front of my SuperCub. I said "hey, now we do the same in front of the RV-8". The girls - in fact lady pilots - organized a liitle Oktoberfest at our club airfield today so they all wore traditional Bavarian dress. Funny thing is I have never been to the real Oktoberfest in Munich but enjoyed the small edition very much, especially being in the middle of the crowd.  continue


Selfie ...Tami and Mike

Somewhere between KCCB and KIZA.




RV-8 Flight Along the Foothills ...colojo pics

We've had gorgeous weather here in Denver this weekend, so I fired up my RV-8 this morning for a leisurely 1.5 hour cruise alongside the foothills west of town. Got a few nice pix, but my iPhone is focusing weirdly since the latest iOS update. I'll need to look into that.


Australian Campaign Phase One. Planning ...Vlad

I had a visitor from Down Under the other day. To him I relayed my dream plan and we had a great talk over the beer. We didn't talk much details but rather about strategy. If I bring my RV to the land of Oz in a shipping container how difficult would it be for N-registered airplane to fly around the continent VFR? I've read a lot of travel stories with beautiful pictures and I am fascinated with Australia. If you hit a lottery and the winning prize would be fuel for 100 hours and lodging for it how would you burn it? Where would you go?



October 7, 2016.   Issue No. 4,220.
   Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.

Selfie ...Martin Rousseau 7A

Inbound for Radisson (North of Québec) with my lovely wife!


Wooden Prop Static Balancing Stands ...snopercod

In order to determine the source of some excessive vibration in my wooden prop, I built myself a couple of stands so I could re-check the static balance and tracking. This was supposedly done when I had this Aymar-Demuth prop refurbished, but I just wanted to check it myself. I built these stands in two halves for easy storage, and to allow spreading them apart or pushing them closer together as desired.

I made each stand out of 2x4s with both the base and height roughly 4 ft.  continue


From Stein at SteinAir....


Vlad's Top 20 ...2016 update

Here is my updated list as of end 2016. Finally I had a guest from Down Under bold enough to ride with me.

1. Canada.
2. Ecuador
3. India
4. Russia
5. SAR
6. Germany
7. Honduras
8. Morocco
9. China
10. Trinidad
11. DR
12. Lithuania
13. Ukraine
14. Salvador
15. GB
16. Israel
17. Pakistan
18. Bangladesh
19. Algeria
20. Australia


Hurricane Inland Bases List

....if you need to relocate your pink hide (and your RV).


Petit Jean Update

UPDATE 10/3/2016 ... 12 days out and everything is looking great on the Mountain. Airport campground and trails should be in perfect condition.

We have had two cancellations this week from the Glamper side .....that would be Campers at the RCC , so there may be two rooms available. Not sure but you should call the RCC if you have been waiting for this chance. Otherwise, the Presidents Lodge, the Meadows, and the four houses are full.

Big switch in the menu for the Friday Night Bash at the Lodge. Switched from our Northern Italian spread to a way overdone Tex-Mex Fajita Bar backed up with some pretty amazing side dishes from the gourmet Kitchen at the RCC.... and I'm not kidding about the gourmet kitchen Someone also said something about a complementary Tequila Shooter. I'm not sure what kind of weapon that is but I understand it can give you a headache

On the subject of food (one of my favorites) ... you might not know this but the RCC (Rockefeller Conference Center) does specialty weekend gourmet cooking classes in the fall and it's a great weekend fly in all by itself. Check out the website for the RCC for details.

It's all good on the Mountain! See you there


Garmin G3X v4.80 is out ...Oct 5 push.

related: Get alerts when updates come out by signing up HERE.

Change History
Changes made from version 4.70 to 4.80:
Add AGL height data field
Add support for Bluetooth interface to Virb Ultra
Improve display of GDL 39 pressure altitude on datalink info page
Improve GEA 24 RPM signal processing
Improve support for pre-programmed supplemental map cards
Improve display of road labels on map
Improve GSU 73 software update process
General improvements to system operation
Includes update to GEA24 software version 2.80
Includes update to GSU 73 IGRF database version 1.03 (Base Year 2015)
Includes G5 software version 2.40
Includes GAD27 software version 2.20
Includes GAD29 software version 2.30
Includes GDL39 software version 4.70
Includes GI260 software version 2.70
Includes GMA245 audio software version 2.20
Includes GMA245 Bluetooth software version 2.00
Includes GMA245 software version 2.20
Includes GPS20A software version 2.20
Includes GSA28 software version 3.20
Includes GSU25 software version 3.60
Includes GSU73 software version 3.60
Includes GTR20/200 software version 2.80



October 6, 2016.   Issue No. 4,219.
   I got my FCC license call letters in the inbox today.  I'm KG5PRB.  The ball is rolling on getting an APRS tracker configured and installing an iGate at my hangar.  Searching for some old ham gear now that will receive 144.390 to tie into an old computer.  Fun 'back burner' project.
   I have to say (again) how good it makes me feel to see folks offering up hangar/ramp/home space for people needing to get out of the way of Hurricane Matthew.  This is really a wonderful bunch of people, and I'm honored to call so many of you friend.


October 08, 2016 Dedication KVVS

"Saturday, Oct 8, 2016, 10:30 AM EDT the Connellsville airport (KVVS) terminal will be dedicated to WASP Shutsy Reynolds.   Many of the local RV'ers will be present."


HELP--#%-$ Baggage Door ...Steve Riffe RV-8

Ok guys, about to admit the baggage door has beaten me . This is the second door I've built and it is only marginally better than the first. I've read every thread on the board regarding the door and just can't find a magic potion. The fit is quite good everywhere except in the tight curve, both the fore and aft edge stick up about 1/32". I marked the areas in blue--I can push the aft portion of the door down flush. The forward portion can be pushed down almost flush. I'm thinking I need to shrink the skin in these areas but not really sure. Is there anyone in the Dallas/Fort Worth area where I could get some help fitting this door? Thanks in advance.


3rd Annual Primitive Camping Fly-in at Alpine County - October 22-23, 2016

"I spoke with Paul and Louise at the Reno Air Races RV BBQ and we settled on a date for the third annual fly-in campout at Alpine County on October 22nd and 23rd.  As before, the plan is to meet there about 10am on Saturday and stay until we get bored on Sunday. Those who've gone the past two years have had a great time. I hope to see many of you there this year!"


From the mothership FB page...

Team page


SERVICE BULLETIN 13-12-19 Fuel Tank Attach Modification ...RV-12

In my original post I stated that I tried to use a single-edge safety razor blade to slice thru the Pro-Seal on the tank lid. I liked the idea of using the thin blade so as not to distort any aluminum, so rather than slicing I now lightly tap the razor blade with a hammer straight through the Pro-Seal joint. The razor blade spans 1-1/2 rivets on the tank lid, which makes it easy to index the razor to the next position. The blade is taped in until the back safety edge meets the tank lid. A pliers is used to pull the razor back out. No twisting or prying is required.


Considerations for the Mixer Mount ...David Paule RV-3B


First Flight Stats:



October 5, 2016.   Issue No. 4,218.

Acro Clinic? ...ronschreck

I was talking with Mark Fullerton while at the Nationals. Mark is with IAC Chapter 3 and they host contests at Rome, Georgia. He would like to hold a clinic for aerobatic competition beginners sometime in the near future. It would probably would be a weekend affair that would include a ground school and lots of coaching from the "experts". I would like to solicit suggestions/comments from those of you who have been following this thread. What would you like to see or hear? When is the best time to hold the event, etc? Once we sort out the details I'll start a new thread and gauge the level of interest from RV pilots.


An overnight trip to Indianapolis from Florida ...Ted Chang

Two weeks ago we made an overnight trip to Indianapolis to attend our daughter-in-law's baby shower (will be our first grand daughter). Since we had other commitments at home we decided to leave in the morning, attend the baby shower in the afternoon, then return the next day. A quick 700 nm each way trip made possible by our RV9A. Weather forecast was not good, a cold front was on the west side of Appalachian Mountains crossing our route, low clouds and rain in a wide area along our route. We filed IFR for a quick fuel/rest stop at the mid-point east of Atlanta. ...


From the mothership FB page...

...a blast from the past (link).


Fly Often! ...jesse

I have an engine in my RV-6A that came off a damaged RV-9A, sat for about two years before running in my plane, then started flying at least once a week and often more. The first sample in this report was from the oil that was in the sump while the engine was sitting, so no corrosion from sitting I said in it. It was, however, not flown very often before it was damaged. We out new oil in and flew the first 20 hours or so. That oil had all the corrosion/wear from running after sitting for 2 years. You can see from the sample dates that it has been flown very regularly ever since, and you can see the wear metals decreasing. This proves, IMHO, that the absolute best thing for the engine is to fly. I am using Phillips 20W-50 oil in all except the second to last sample, where I think I used Aeroshell 15W-50. I have also used Camguard in all except the first sample.


Low Pass at the Space Shuttle Landing Facility - Shuttle below my RV9A ...Ted Chang 9A

A month ago when Gary Baker and his wife Mary came to visit we went to VAC Warbird Museum for breakfast then we did a formation low pass over the shuttle runway. The passenger (Marco Pretoriani) in the lead Bonanza took the following photo. The space shuttle is a mock-up that used to be at the visitor center.


ADSB worked just like it should ...Paul 5r4

We had an interesting experience yesterday on a trip from the Birmingham area south to our home along the Gulf Coast of Alabama. We were about halfway when the ifly 720 alerted me to traffic 1 o'clock 12 miles +200 feet relative to us. We were cruising at 4500 feet, the proper VFR altitude for our heading. Thinking he was on his way up or down, we observed him for a minute. With the target now only 6 miles out and the +200 ft relative altitude not changing it was time to disengage the autopilot and descend. I dropped 400 feet as the Aircraft passed overhead right where the Navworx ADSB said it would be. Climbing back to 4500 feet and with "George" again flying, we were on our merry way.  ...



October 4, 2016.   Issue No. 4,217.

$4 Tip Up Canopy Strut Brace

This might have been hashed out 15 years ago, but I didn't learn about it until about a month ago. A gentleman at our airport who prefers to remain anonymous (let's call him Mr. X) saw a YouTube clip where they were doing something similar to hold up the rear doors of old hatchback cars.  He made one for his RV, and I copied his design.

It involves about a dollar's worth of PVC pipe and about three dollars worth of O-rings. I splurged and bought a can of yellow spray paint, but have yet to actually do the painting. I settled on yellow because it would be the same color as the chocks under the wheels, and in my mind I thought along the lines of "move the yellow things out of the way before flight".

In 'braced' position...

Okay, about the O-rings. I took one of my old struts up to Lowes and went through the O-ring section (they actually do have an O-ring section) and tried several of them until I found what would fit snugly around the main body of the strut. It is the #41 package.

Next I took the strut over to the PVC aisle and found one with an inside diameter that would accommodate both the main shaft with O-ring, and the molded plastic bottom.

As for installation, slide two or three O-rings up on the main body of the strut, measure and cut the PVC pipe to the length that you need, and install. Paint if desired.  The O-rings roll a little as you slide the PVC in the stowed position, but not much.  The PVC doesn't rattle in flight - elegant and simple.

I have nearly 9 feet of PVC pipe left if you want to come over to my hangar and get some for yourself. I think the length of my braces measured out to be 6 3/8 inches if memory serves.  This is what worked on my RV-6.  I have no idea if it will work on different models.

Anywho, there may be some downside to doing this, but it hasn't occurred to me yet what that might be. They stow away wonderfully in flight, and in the hangar when I'm trying to get a passenger in or out they perform swimmingly.  One less thing to worry about (canopy falling).  In the hot summer months I like to put the passenger in the airplane inside the shaded hangar, then roll them out onto the ramp where I get in. With these strut braces, in no wind situations, I can now leave the canopy up with more confidence while rolling the passenger and airplane out onto the ramp.

In 'stowed' position...

You'll notice in the top picture that there is a small gap between the top of the PVC and the bottom of the main strut body. That is not an accident. My logic in doing that is if the strut is working properly it will never touch the PVC. Only if/when the strut starts to get a little long in the tooth will it ever touch the PVC. Strut touching PVC? Time to replace strut...

The thought did occur to me to not only paint them yellow, but also wrap them with some sort of transparent label with emergency checklist information. Avery label and MS Word.  Maybe on the passenger side it could have information relevant to them. On the pilot side stuff relevant to the pilot (emergency transponder codes, best engine out glide speeds, the 'Five T's' of IFR flying, etc.)

Wrapping up, a special thanks to Mr. X for the idea.  You can see the rest of the pictures in their full resolution glory at this link (opens new window).

Yours in slightly more canopy confidence,


Three Oceans ...Vlad

My RV officially has been to three ocean beaches. How about yours?





Weekly Update ...j-red pics/words

I actually like the idea of the removeable scoop and for a time hoped to replicate it, but there were some filler and delamination issues going on in this particular installation that made grinding out the old and glassing in the new the best route.

Continuing on with cowl-related work, I cut the nose-gear slot in the center of the cowl scoop, then put together the assembly that stabilizes and covers the gap behind the nose gear leg.  ...



October 3, 2016.   Issue No. 4,216.
   Really nice Wx here in N. Texas this weekend (peak heat finally passed).  Took my son flying for the first time in over two years.  Where in the world does the time go?!?  Wow have his flying skills improved!  I can only guess that since he's grown about a foot and a half since that last flight, it's down to being able to finally reach the pedals and properly see over the panel <g>.  He *is* taller than me now (sigh).  Highlight of the weekend as you might expect.  Got the October wallpaper calendar up on Saturday (the 1st).
  Bumped into RV-8 builder Jim 'izzybear' Novak at Mass Sunday.  "RVs be with you."  ;^)   Finished out the weekend doing accounting (thanks again to those who help keep it afloat).
  Hope you had a nice weekend as well and that your week goes swell.


Family Portrait ...Scott Martin family RV-10


Mostly unedited video of my first race in Reno 2016 ...AX-O

This is a video of my first race. It is mostly unedited so those of you that want to see the environment can see it real time. That being said, it is approx. 13 minutes long. In the video I point out the pylons and some of the things going through my brain at the moment.

You will also see a nice race from my point of view. I was going at it with#26 and #38.


Qwest for Cow ...Pete Howell 9A

I think it is illegal in Minnesota.......too strong, too tasty, dare I say it.....too Udderly delicious!

On a beautiful fall evening, Andi declared her desire to go on a Quest for Cow, so we loaded up the machine and headed east to the Beer State, Wisconsin. Along the way, there were amber waves of grain and long shadows - it was quite the golden hour...

Andi has a Cow, I get to fly. Quiet twilight trip home and a nice night landing. Pretty good for a Thursday!  (more pics)


New SB Issued Over the Weekend ...RV-12


Bill and Ron's bling...


Heliograph ...Vlad

For couple years I was puzzled how my brand new glare shield got a burnt spot. I didn't solder anything in the cockpit and my passengers usually don't smoke. Then I got another a bigger one. Then one day I returned to my aircraft to see a touch of smoke coming out of the cockpit. Now I know why. Ever heard of a heliograph or sunshine recorder? Your RV bubble canopy can be one of these.


Getting Close! ...Jeff Green -8



September 30, 2016.   Issue No. 4,215.
   Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend!  v/r,

Zimbabwe RV-7 Status Report ...Z-EDD

This was an awesome RV building day! As soon as we finished riveting the centre section, I put the longerons in place, and arranged the sawhorses. Then we lifted the centre section into place. the clecos are tough to get in at first, but then it all starts to line up and comes together.


Pirep on Trutrak Gemini Autopilot ...Larryskydives

Thought I would do a pirep on purchase and installation of Trutrak Gemini Autopilot. I have a RV6 purchased from the original builder. No autopilot intalled, so starting from scratch. In a search for and AP, I looked at various models and mfg. in reviewing online information, I liked the installations of the servos in the RV6's by Trutrak. Not wanting to cut any new holes, the I liked the idea of the Gemini control head to replace my artificial horizon. This is not to say the Trutrak is any better or worse than any other mfg, this is my experience with this unit only.

1 - While looking I had several conversations with Zack and Lucas at Trutrak. They answered all of my questions and gave clear answers and the website had very good information and downloads for manuals and installation drawings and info. Afterwards found the operating manuals to be an older version, but installation drawings were still current for the pitch and roll servos as well as the auto trim module.

2 - Upon making the decision to purchase the Gemini unit, I found Aircraft Spruce to have a discounted price. I spoke with Trutrak about meeting that price. They would not meet the price but said that no matter where I bought it from they would back it as if I purchased it directly from Trutrak. I mentioned that I was looking at buying parts and pieces from SteinAir to build my harnesses. Was told that SteinAir was a dealer. Called Steinair and spoke with them and although they discounted the price, it was not as low as Aircraft Spruce. To make up the difference, they said they would discount the harnesses if I would buy the premade harnesses. That is what I did. Purchased from SteinAir the Gemini and harnesses. I recieved the harnesses in a weeks time. And it was three weeks to recieve the Gemini AP Package. Time frame was acceptable and packaging was very good.  continue

Three Years ...Tim Blake RV-10

I'm so grateful to have my RV and the ability to make memories like this, I thought this made for a neat set of pictures.  First picture is from .... when we were on our way to TX State to visit my middle child. In the 2nd picture 2016, the only difference is the child in the rear left seat is the one we were visiting in 2013 and she is now with us to go visit my youngest (left rear seat 2013) that is now attending at TX State.

After seeing this I think it might be time for me to spring for a new hat.




Using Elevator Trim Indicator to Full Advantage ...Piper J3

Until recently I have been using the elevator trim indicator on the D-180 to set and verify only takeoff trim position. Once airborne I would make trim adjustment for cruise and decent strictly by feel, which required many small, step adjustments to reach hands-off pitch stability.

I have made mental note of where trim indicator needs to be to satisfy cruise and power-off glide with full flaps deployed. Now when I change from climb to cruise and from cruise to decent I can quickly attain stabilized flight in pitch by setting the elevator trim by visual reference to the trim indicator. By roughing-in the trim setting visually I can attain desired pitch stability quickly with just a few small step adjustments and thus minimize workload.

So for what its worth (and maybe I’m just late to the party as usual) I thought I’d pass along this revelation as I gracefully age in my love of flying…


RV-14 Status Report ...Nova RV

Mated the fuselage halves and had a visit from my EAA tech counselor to check things out. He said everything looked good and I was ok to start covering things up with the baggage floor installation.


Our Trip part#12 ...bhester


Our Trip part#13 ...bhester



September 29, 2016.   Issue No. 4,214.
   Pics below of Tommy 'GenTom' Williams and Randy Richmond in their RV-8s at my home field Wednesday.  The rest can be found in their full rez glory HERE.  If you have the time, go to YouTube and search for 'Tommy Williams P-51' and 'Tommy Williams F-86'.  He flies other stuff, too.
  The nice thing about having the wind from the north around here is that I can get pics of RVs without having to walk too far (that's my open hangar door under Tommy's wing).


Bowling Greens and Nashville trip ...SmilingJack

Made a quick trip to Bowling Greens and Nashville. Landed in KBWG and used Co-Mar - NO Ramp Fee! NO Overnight Fee! And the guys behind the desk couldn't have been more help!

Rented a Hertz car and first drove to Nashville (Fees to high to land there, so we just drove the 50 miles).


Ready for its closeup ...John Walker RV-10

Well.... I can finally post in this thread... I guess that's the goal right?   So here she is... Truth is, she's been done for a while. We flew to KOSH, but the graphics weren't 100% complete. And we finally had a chance to take some real pictures.  She has affectionately become know as "Miss Whiskey Delta"...


US Nationals ...sandifer

Bill McLean......on the podium!!!!


Selfie ...jcaplins


Dynon Announcement- Limited time trade-in rebate offer


Status Report ...crabandy pics

A little more shaping tonight, using the 14 inch cutoff wheel to cut radius guide marks into the foam worked pretty well for shaping the lower cowl exit. Pretty easy to eyeball a center for the cut and then measure from the cut off wheel to the cowling to keep things concentric. Kinda odd that I actually had a 14 inch concrete cutoff wheel laying around the shop from a totally different project.



September 28, 2016.   Issue No. 4,213.

A Quick Visit w/Ron and Bill at the US Nationals Championship ...photo album.

I haven't flown my RV-6 for one whole hour in over a month. Because of that, and the majority of my flights being .2 or .3, a tank of gas lasts me upwards of a month :-).  I finally needed gas, and it is $.65 per gallon cheaper at nearby Sherman (KSWI). By coincidence the US Nationals Championship is being held next door to where I was getting said avgas. Ron Schreck has been kind enough to journal about his and Bill McLean's time there in a thread in the forums, and I thought it was appropriate for me to stop in, since I was so close, and thank him personally if possible.

I threw the semi-good camera in the passenger seat and grabbed my new 'window cling' that I ordered from Abby at Flightline Interiors about a week ago. Randy took off while I was pre-flighting my airplane, so I knew I would probably talk to him after I launched. It turns out that the air was incredibly, incredibly smooth. Smoother than I can remember it being in quite a long time. I put the plane on autopilot and was messing with my new portable shade thingy when Randy called on the radio and asked if he could join up. Absolutely! I took a few pictures of him - one of them even turned out pretty decent. In the background of that picture you can see a new car racing facility that has popped up on some private land between my house and the airport. How would you like that for a backyard?

Put the gas in the airplane at Sherman and scooted back up into the sky to talk to the tower at KGYI, where the event is being held. The friendly lady in the tower put me in a hold 2 miles east of the control tower, with three, maybe four other airplanes doing the same in different spots. Everybody was waiting on a IFR flight that had started its approach.

Once on the ground I parked and started walking to where I thought I saw a couple of RV's as I was taxiing in. It turns out both Ron and Bill were there next to their airplanes fiddling with them. They were due to fly in two or three hours, so I kept my visit fairly short, not wanting to interrupt too much. Ron was kind enough to walk me through some of the stuff they do and some of the preparation and training involved. Talking with them, it's obvious they're both very passionate about getting more RV folks involved. As I write this, Bill is currently in second place sportsman class out of 17 participants. He is doing this with an RV-4 with a wood prop and a 160 hp engine. Let that sink in for a little bit…

RVs can compete just fine.

At Ron's suggestion, after saying goodbye to them, I walked down to where the judges were. Clumped in groups of three, Ron explained that one would be a spotter who says out loud what the next maneuver is, the judge is next to that person, and a recorder is next to him or her. Taking down notes spoken by the main judge. It seemed to me like there were four groups of these and I guess they average their scores or something.

The trip back home, all 22 min. of it, allowed me to play with the new window cling some more. I had the plane on autopilot and everything was hunky-dory. I could slide my top shade over to the side a little bit and put the window cling on the bottom, leaving a little one to two inch gap where I could scan for traffic. The picture doesn't do it justice. In regular normal flight my head is only a few inches from the slit, so my field of view is quite large. But finally there is little to no glare anymore on the side of my face. Hallelujah. Why didn't I do this 10 years ago?

You can see all the pictures I took in their full resolution glory, with captions, by going to this link.

I hope you enjoy both them and your Wednesday.



This year's British Air Racing Champion is...


From the mothership FB page...


Sunday's Reno Medallion Start


Cancer Awareness T-Shirt Blue and Pink Ribbons

...available from the mothership



September 27, 2016.   Issue No. 4,212.

Jim Lechleiter at Triple Tree...

Our Trip part#5 ...bhester

While I was getting the car, Marsha took a few pics of the planes that got there before we did.

Our Trip part#6

The next day Marsha and I spent exploring Baa-Ha-Ba (Bar Harbor) and Acadia Park. It was an hour drive from the hotel; everything is an hour drive, Belfast – Bangor - Bar Harbor. I took the picture below on the way there.

Our Trip part#7

Here are a couple pic from the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia Park and some pics from Bass Harbor.

Our Trip part#8

We were amazed at Young’s Lobster Pond, this place is awesome! The place is a barn, where the lobster boats come to and unload. There are holding bins lining both sides of the ground floor. The lobsters are sorted by soft shell or hard shell. The front part on one side is where you place your order and it is prepared right there. We were told that this is one of the last few places like this. Years ago there were a lot more.

Our Trip part#9

Today was the actual Fly-In day. We got there about 9am and when we walked through the gate Vlad was moving his plane in front of a Cloudhopper. A Cloudhopper is an experimental single place hot air balloon. Vlad was going to use his prop blast to inflate the balloon. They got it inflated and where going to do a tethered flight but the winds where just a little too much, so they deflated it and put it away.

Our Trip part#10

We made it to Eastport and refueled then we flew down to Baa-Ha-Ba airport and around Acadia Park-Cadillac Mountain. I wanted to fly around some of the lighthouses out on the islands but Marsha didn’t want any part of flying out over all that water. The picture below is what I wanted to tell her, but I didn't. I usually do my best to keep her happy :-)
It is right there in front of her every time I tun it on...


20yo RV-6 belly skin extensive rivet repairs...BruceMe

I purchased a damaged RV-6 project, the previous owner was getting on and losing his health to the point he was no longer able to safely pilot. He had likely repeatedly hard landed this aircraft and unfortunately the last landing was a flip-over.

Needless to say, there's a long list of repairs and I've been working on it for 6mo now. One thing I noticed early on in the pre-buy was that all the belly skin rivets where smoking. This isn't an accident issue, but a long-term ongoing maintenance and safety concern.


OT, but important to share....video

Veteran walks in hangar to see P-38 being restored.  Discovers it was his plane...


Not so fast! ...ronschreck

I'd like to say that we all flew flawless routines today but the truth is, we never turned a wheel due to crummy weather. We do have a few pictures to share but you will have to wait until tomorrow for some flying tales.



September 26, 2016.   Issue No. 4,211.
  Guess who has an amateur radio license, Technician class, as of 3:30 PM Sunday, September 25th?  Yup!
  If you're of the opinion that this is a hard test, please let me help alleviate those fears. Just go to this page, click on and print out the
Technician Study Guide - 14 pages). Study it for two hours the morning of the test, arrive an hour early and study for one more hour in your car.  Glance at this chart a couple of times.  Drink a Dr. Pepper.  Pay the $15* to take the test and score a 91.  Go to Jason's Deli afterwards and get a salad because you feel guilty about that Dr. Pepper.
  Now begins the process of researching which APRS tracker to purchase. I'll probably end up just asking Sam or Pete or one of the other RV folks already doing it, and go with whatever they tell me slash suggest.  Open to idears...
  The nice guy at the testing center said I should get something in the mail in about 10 days. I'll let you know what my call sign is when I find out. 



Sport Class Start Reno ...Tim O'Brien photo via Bob Mills


Jay Pratt's 70th Birthday Pics  

It sure is enjoyable to be able to visit with friends. Some of these folks I don't see enough, and it's just a lot of fun to get to catch up. Our entire family had the pleasure of attending Jay Pratt's 70th birthday party. A few of the usual suspects arrived in style from the air, and I was on the ground with a long lens for the arrival. Our son Tate manned the other camera and got some pictures of the birthday boy and the festivities.

Fun had by all and we all wish our friend Jay many, many more happy birthdays like this!


RV's at U.S. National Aerobatic Championships (OFFA 70+) ...ronschreck

  We have arrived! Bill "WillyEyeball" McLean and I arrived at North Texas Regional Airport (KGYI) this "afternoon. It's a "Bucket List" for both of us old geezers: a first attempt at IAC competition at the national level! Bill has been flying his RV-4 in competition for a few years longer that me and he does things with that old -4 that you wouldn't believe. And he does it with 160 horsepower and a fixed pitch prop! I have seen him wipe up the tarmac with Extras and Pitts so I'm anxious to see what he does here in Texas. Bill is an optometrist by trade and does research projects for the US Army at Fort Rucker. (Thus the WillyEyball handle.) He signed up with the Air Force early on and was denied a pilot slot because of less-than-perfect vision. Besides, they said that pilots are as comon as dirt. What they needed was an optometrist.
  We met up in Grenada, Mississippi on the way to Texas so we could spend a few days together practicing our Sportsman routines before heading to Texas. Bill lives in southern Alabama and I live in North Carolina, so Grenada was a great place to meet and they have an aerobatic box right on the field!


Tick, tick, tick -- fixed! ...Ed Wischmeyer

On the last flight in the RV-8, right after takeoff, there was an unusual sound somewhat like the electric fuel pump. I landed immediately, and then...

The pulse repetition rate seemed too slow to be engine related, but first priority was getting the plane on the ground, not debugging the problem at low altitude.

Next day, took the cowl off, and Mike, my IA, inspected the engine carefully. Nothing. Loose rubber strips flapping? Nope, but close.

On the RV-8, there is an air intake under the right wing to provide fresh air to the back seater. Mike found that the scat tubing had a tear, and perhaps that was the culprit, with the tube flapping back and forth. He managed to cut out the bad portion of the tube and then reattach it, something I'm not sure I could do.

This morning, it was time for the test flight. Tower cleared me for takeoff, maintain runway heading. Uh, no thanks... if the problem wasn't fixed, I wanted to be able to turn downwind immediately. Takeoff clearance declined. And on the takeoff, I was aware that landing on the crossing runway would have been dicey, at best.

But the good news was that the noise had gone away. Once again, reinforcing the safety adage that in a homebuilt, every flight is a test flight. And that's not a bad attitude for spam cans as well.


-14 Panel Shots Added



September 23, 2016.   Issue No. 4,210.
   Kay Frizzel RV-8A (w/pax Austin Alvord) and Gary Platner RV-8 (w/pax Tony Ryan) taxiing out for a breakfast/gas flight Thursday morning at my home field.  I don't think what was for breakfast was really important <g>.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend!


RV-8 Skyrunner airborne ...Germany

Yesterday I made the maiden flight with my new RV-8. It was a QB kit and kept me busy for the last one and a half years.

The flight was uneventful and just everything worked as expected. No need to correct the flight controls and all engine parameters are in the middle of the green. Oil temp is on the low side and even CHT was only 350 F with 75% power - I expected higher CHTs!

At higher airspeeds the rear of the canopy is lifting may be 1/4 inch or so and there was quite some air rushing in from behind. After landing I found a minor oil leak on the center fitting of the inverted oil valve. Retorqued the fitting and glued some soft rubber seals inside the rear of the canopy skirts and today on flights 3 and 4 all was perfect. What a fun plane!


Jay Pratt Turns 70 Years Young ...an invitation.

If you happen to be in the neighborhood of Hicks Field (T67) Saturday at noon, your presence is requested at Jay's hangar to celebrate his 70th birthday. Scuttlebutt is there could be a formation flyover, barbecue, birthday cake and more. The restaurant is open on the field as a good plan B.  See you there! 


RV White Pages Updated ...courtesy the amazing Tate Reeves


GTN V6.21 Upgrade for EAB Customers

We are pleased to announce that GTN V6.21 is now available as a software download to EAB customers with non-certified aircraft.

Please note that the software images linked on this page which format and auto-create SD cards are delivered to our dealer resource center as a Windows computer self extracting .exe file and are only usable on Windows computers. We apologize up front to Mac users.

Also note that as explained in the service bulletin, GTN V6.21 begins use of a new format of the Navigation database to support additional data. The database SD card for the current cycle contains both old and new formats, so you should just need to load the new format (the GTN will recognize the correct file) after updating with the V6.21 software. If you do not have a current copy of the Navigation database (Jepp or Garmin), wait to perform this software update since the new software cannot use the old format Navigation database and will remove that database if currently installed.  continue


Mothership Stats


Another RV-7 Started

Just wanted to introduce myself, my name is Eric. I am in the final stages of getting my PPL, I have the hours just need to take the tests. I was planning on waiting until I got my PPL to start building but was in Oregon for business and visited Vans Aircraft.

I have always enjoyed building things, I have a background in machining and metal fabrication. I haven't worked with sheet metal or driven rivets but with some experience it shouldn't be a problem.

I built the tool box and two of the control surface practice kits with reasonable results. I started the horizontal stabilizer but I would like to connect with local RV builders to gain some experience and more confidence. I have a mill, lathe and welding equipment so I might be able to offer something in the way of trade for some help / guidance.

Anyway just wanted to say hello and share a few pictures of the shop and progress with the horizontal stabilizer.

Eric Fitzgerald (Dryden, MI)


Our "Lobster" Trip Part IV ...bhester

When I looked up I saw this huge Moose come running across the runway, he was coming straight for us OH NO, Marsha was screaming.

No not really, all I saw was that I had not latched the canopy. I taxied to the end of the runway latched the canopy and took off from that end of the runway. 10:27 - takeoff. The trip to Belfast was pretty bumpy under the cloud layer so I climbed to 5500’ for a smoother ride. Somewhere along the way we saw this windmill farm.  continue



September 22, 2016.   Issue No. 4,209.

Day 19. Final Day of the Big Trip ...Vlad's Alaska

It's over and I can't believe I did it. I was still 5 flight hours from home but it was nothing compare to what's flown. I walked from Atkinson Suites to Lumberton airport and was airborne immediately. I planned to scout Cape Fear on early morning with low tide but a lot of people were already enjoying the beach. I was out of luck.  ...


Ready for her closeup ...TCONROY

I am THRILLED to say our RV-7 is COMPLETE (at least mostly complete ) now that she has a paint job. The fine folks at ArtCraft paint in Santa Maria, CA did a wonderful job turning our vision into reality!  First flight was in May 2015, which gave us a little over a year to work the kinks out before painting.


RV-6 Formation Flying - Air Facts article ...Dave Gamble


Shop Update ...Scott Card

We're continuing to make progress. With all of the drywall complete, I was on a mission this weekend to get the interior painted. My current goal is to get the A/C going. It is hot out there. Working backwards from that, we need electricity done. For that we need to finish terminating all of our branch circuits. Before that, we need paint. So, that is where we're at.

I spent a bunch of quality time with a paint sprayer on my lift. On Saturday, before and after our airport fly-in, I sprayed a high-build primer on the walls and ceiling. On Sunday I popped out of bed at 6am and had the whole place painted before noon. What color you ask? WHITE! No, really, the paint was just base with no tint. The reason is for maximum light reflectivity.  ...


VAF Airport Courtesy Car List Updated


Did you Know?

There are rockets on the sectionals?   Space X facility SW of my hometown.  Lots more stuff HERE.



September 21, 2016.   Issue No. 4,208.

Gave Flash a bath (finally).
VS reflection off top wing.


Formation flight with Ken Krueger over Black Forest ...Germany

Today I was very lucky today to meet Ken Krueger. He is visiting Klaus, another RV-7A builder here in Germany who just recently finished his RV and is in the flight testing phase. The weather was a little hazy today over the Black Forest but we got airborne in both our planes and did some photo shooting and formation flying. Too much fun and the flight was too short of course.



America the Beautiful ...Scott Chastain conclusion

The Lord took me to the edge of my grave, and at the edge of my grave, I looked down. I looked down, and I was not afraid.

In Heaven I had a sister, a sister I had never met. She died of pneumonia at the age of only ten months. Exactly ten months later, my mother gave birth to me. Wendy’s death became the doorway to my life:


Belfast Lobster Fly-in Part III ...bhester

About 10 mins into the flight, and about 7,500’, we get a call from ATC and he said “Albany was asking if I still had the courtesy car key”. OH NO! Yes, I did have the key and was headed back. As I got close, I was looking at my fuel and thought that I had better get some more. I was down to about 20-22 gallons and should have enough but better to have too much. The line guy met me at the turn off and ran up to get the key. Self-serve fuel was further down the taxiway. So we got 8 gallons of fuel and we were off for the second time headed to Albany. Back up to 9,500’ and as we got a little further than the first time the clouds were getting higher and not looking real good to the west. We climbed to 11,500’ and had to let ATC know that we were going to be doing a little dodging around the clouds toward the east.  ...


Another Belfast report- Must be something good there, eh?...catmandu

As I told the 'Governor' on Saturday, he really needs to be called the 'Benevolent Dictator'! What a great fly-in, Lord knows he has a lot of help from a lot a people, but they all knew who runs the show.

We decided to come up Friday, and I decided someone really needed to get serious about her RV PIC time, since, you know, she provides most of the funds for it. I had her shed her shiny uniform, and 125K pounds of aircraft, and threw her deep into the GA world. We skipped the normal flight following to prove that one can actually fly the Northeast corridor without talking to anyone.  ...


One good. One bad.

I flew the RV for 13 min. Tuesday morning early. It turned out to be a scorcher of a day with a high near 100.  At 7:30 AM however it was only 80 and PERFECTLY smooth. Look at that nice round left hand climbing turn back over the airport post takeoff and out to the Northwest for deer spotting.  Four turkeys and one deer, and non-budget-breaking aviating. Back for the overhead break and a ground track that got more and more sloppy. The air was so still that I was hoping to make a perfect circle.  Hoping is the operative word ;^). 

GoogleEarth said the pattern was 3,000' wide runway to downwind - nice and tight with the AOA good the whole way.  Stuff to keep working on… 


Mothership News


The 'new' VanCave PC

Circa 2007. Rocking it Microsoft Vista style.

The kick@ss HP monitor is much newer, but the Dell Inspiron 531 was my mother-in-law's for a few years before she got a smart phone and discovered she was content just getting the occasional text/picture from her grandkids on that. I purchased the computer for her as an 83rd birthday present roughly a decade ago.

She's been asking me if I wanted it back, so I said yes. Reset to factory defaults with a low level format, turned off every auto update everything and locked it down as tightly as I could configuration-wise. Purchased a $22 USB Wi-Fi adapter and I'm in business baby (I have one of those MiFi pucs that I carry in my backpack for the laptop/iPad/etc).  My backup if the house internet goes down.

Anywho, it's kind of nice to have an option now right there on the workbench that doesn't require a magnifying glass :-). 



September 20, 2016.   Issue No. 4,207.

How Eagle’s Nest Project Pilots spend a weekend

What a great way to spend a weekend home from College. Two Eagle’s Nest Project pilots Nicole and Olivia spent the weekend flying together on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Wisconsin. Hummm, was taking selfies part of flight training….. I don’t think so!


Home ...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'

Waking up each morning to the sadness of the gray unknown for over a week had me searching desperately for the beauty of America, for the beauty as I had known it during my absence from home. Being home suddenly seemed to remove a part of that beauty, making me feel at once lost and abandoned and very much alone. In that mad search to become united to my country---united as if by blood or by marriage, in such a way that we two should become one flesh under the banner of freedom---where was I to begin? Where was the dew-covered garden of newness and innocence for which my soul leapt at the thought of being with my beautiful America forever?  ...

Home (cont.)...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'

Home (cont. cont.)...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'

Home (cont. cont. cont.)...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'


SteinAir Overstock / Garage Sale. Radios, Autopilots, EFISes and more.

Hi All,
Since we neglected to do a spring cleaning or summer garage sale, our inventory of “Overstock, Trade-in, NOS, Refurb” and other units has grown to the point we need to sell some of it and we figured we’d list them here before it hits the auction sites! Below is a list of what we’ve got for sale right now and any associated information regarding warranties, etc.. As usual with our ‘Garage Sales’, first person with the dollars get it. We’ll update the list as items are sold or added. Price does not include shipping, and prices are listed as cash/check prices (CC’s can be used but may incur a small extra fee on these items). If you’d like more information or photos of these items, please contact us off list via email, phone, etc.. and of course you can stop by anytime to inspect these items in person. As many of you know, we are picky about taking items in on trade and only will deal with items in excellent physical and cosmetic condition. No Junk here.

Here’s what we’ve got (Note this list may change):  ...


Thanks for the RV Turnout ...Tanya Card

Had several RVers at the picnic this weekend, both local and a couple with some airtime to get here. Hope you had fun, and thanks for joining us. We raised a little over $1,000 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  [ed. Tanya, I watched your RV fly around the pattern via APRS on my iPad all afternoon.  I'm guessing you gave a LOT of rides!!!  v/r,dr]


ADS-B --- when eyeballs are not enough ...John-G

One sunny clear afternoon a couple of days after Memorial Day, while receiving RV-12 transition training, the instructor and I were climbing out upwind of runway 29 at Petaluma, CA (O69) and beginning a right turn to crosswind when we heard a pilot say he was entering the downwind for 29 on the 45. We couldn’t spot him after finishing the turn to crosswind, nor could we see him after turning downwind … but the ABS-B box feeding the Garmin G3X sure could. We called out to the pilot to find out what speed the aircraft was flying in the pattern, fortunately it was 15 knots faster than our speed … we could relax a little.

Both the instructor and myself were looking HARD to spot the aircraft, but we just couldn’t locate it … and we both KNEW it was less than a mile directly in front of us. The ADS-B showed we were not gaining on it, but the aircraft was lost to our vision in ground clutter and we simply could not spot it. Guess we were nearing mid-field on downwind when the pilot called his turn to base and as the aircraft’s left wing lifted for the turn, we both instantly spotted it directly in front of us and a little lower.

We commented to the pilot that although we couldn’t spot him visually until his turn to base, the ADS-B box sure knew where he was … amazing technology. His reply was that he too had ADS-B and was watching us as well.

This real-time experience with ADS-B just reaffirmed my decision to install ADS-B in my RV-12 during the build is indeed, a good one. There are times when keeping eyeballs outside the cockpit is just not good enough to spot traffic … even when you know traffic is right in front of you. Without a doubt, ADS-B is a safety enhancement and a useful tool to improve situational awareness.


French Lick,IN Fly-in 9/24

I just wanted to remind everyone my wife and I are putting on a Fly-in at KFRH this coming Saturday, September 24 from 8-2.

We will have doughnuts, coffee, juice, milk, water at 8:00 and then start frying fish around 10:30. We plan on having slaw, baked beans, and chips with plenty of drinks. Nothing fancy but good times and good food.

The weather is forecasted to be gorgeous so please stop in.

Hope to see many there.


Darren & Traci Kerns
RV7 N599DT


EZ-Out Console Caddy for RVs

Don’t forget about our EZ-Out Console/Caddy. This has been a very popular mod that you can add to most of the RV series aircraft. You can order this as a kit or a complete installation. You can also choose a covering for it. There are many colors and fabrics to choose from. You can even choose a custom covering of your choice. Please take a look at the EZ-Out Console Caddy if you haven’t already. Also, check out our newest products at www.aircraftextras.com.



September 19, 2016.   Issue No. 4,206.
So much news today!  You're not going to get a thing done at work for an hour or so.  Milestone: Saturday was the 14 year anniversary of our family's RV-6 first flight.  Spend Saturday doing yard work (and watching APRS returns at various gatherings around the country during college football on TV - kinda made you feel like you sorta attended).  Sunday was planning on giving a ride, but storms at 0700 stopped that.  Next time....

From Reno (via Adam Burch via Ernie Butcher)

1 August- Merced, CA (last installment)...Scott Chastain

My last night of the trip started with a walk about a half mile down the road to a nearby Chevron station. I had a hankering for ice cream again---a big hankering. On the way out of the airport, I wondered why the rotating beacon had not come on. I could see the lenses spinning on the orange and white wrought iron tower, and I could hear the gimbal grinding away up there as I walked by, but there was no beacon. Either the bulbs were shot, they were not getting power, or they were not even installed. Either way, it didn’t matter. I knew coming back that my final night of prayer walking along the length of an American runway would be absent of its customary green-white-green-white rhythm of welcome for aviators that would probably never come anyway. I had an airport all to myself again.  ...


A little bit of "history" ...

First time to my knowledge that a University President leads a flight for a game opening.

vid 1 / vid 2

Over Clemson's "Death Valley" no less. They beat us pretty badly but at least a "Bulldog" was in the lead of (at least one) Tiger at the opening of the game.  We did come back to rule the halftime, though. :-)  There was a "press release" put out the day before referencing "Alpha Bulldog to lead Tiger Flight".  All of the aircraft were RV's.

Without the pilots coming to help their friend, this could not have happened. And without Widget's HOURS of background work and tutelage on marks and timing, I would not have made it in at the right time! :-)

related: SCSU President Leads Game Flyover


Deadstick Landings - Alvord Desert ...Joe Blank video


Could not have ask for a Better Time!...Lobster Fly-in PIREP Dave

Additional Recap ...Dave

Our trip to the Belfast EAA 1434 Mid Coast Fly-In ...bhester

Our trip to Belfast, ME began Wednesday morning. Of course there were hours of planning beforehand. I had initially planned to fly to Niagra Falls, NY and then over to Belfast but, the weather forecast up that way did not allow it. So the night before I laid out our new flight plan.  ...


Construction Update ...Tim Huneycutt RV-10

It's still in a lot of pieces, but I drove my first rivets in quite a while this week. The new house and shop is all done and I'm back on the build. I never thought I'd be so excited about deburring!

All my pictures on the blog are huge, so won't post it here, but check out the link in my signature for some pictures.


Day 17. Still Seeking Sunshine ...Vlad



September 16, 2016.   Issue No. 4,205.
Added Bruce Hill (9A) to the APRS page.  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.

RV-8 and RV-10 photo flight around Seattle ...Bernardo photos



This post is long overdue, I have been mega-busy preparing B-KOO for her round the world (RTW) journey, and I am finally ready.

Since her first flight in Nov 2015, we spent 6 months trying to get approval to flight test in Hong Kong but failed. We then dissembled the aircraft and air freight it to Queensland, Australia, under a new registration "VH-FSX". After 40 hours of flight test, I did a trial flight to Adelaide and met up with Jon Johanson, the man who inspired me to build my own RV and fly it around the world. The aircraft yield an amazing 23 litres/hour at 45% at 135kts, thanks to Catto. With this figure, I work out I can fly for 19 hours non-stop with bladder tank installed.  ...


Our Morning with Mitch Lock

I have been contemplating taking the dive into building my own plane for about 25+ years now. That life long dream is about to become reality. I have done a lot of researching in the past year or so, and have narrowed my choice down to two. The RV-10 or the the RV-14a. During that time I was able to reach out to Mitch Lock and ask for a demo fight. My wife and I traveled to Manassas VA for an EAA Sportair Workshop on September 10-11. I took the sheet metal course. It was well worth the expense and effort, but that is for another thread.  ...


31 July- Mountain Home, ID ...Scott Chastain

I had to sit down. I was a little overwhelmed by it all; and plus, since I knew I was approaching the Omega portion of the mission, a tiredness had caught up with me that I had not felt before. I still was not ready to head home, and there in Mountain Home---a home away from home so many years ago, and now a home away from home once again---the sweet and certain comfort of familiarity settled over me as I walked away from the Old Glories of the brick building to the railroad park I remembered so well. I lay down on the grass listening to the wind in the tall trees and the nearly indistinguishable tide of traffic going by until I dozed off.

It wasn’t long before the bells of the railroad crossing guard rang and announced the passage of a freight train only a few dozen feet from where I was sleeping. The rumble of earth and the hailing trumpets of the locomotive did not stir me from the cool comfort of my bed of grass. I was genuinely tired. It was probably another hour after the train had gone by that I decided to get up and start exploring my past again.  ...


This weekend:

Breakaway Airport Picnic, 9/17 Austin, TX

Belfast Maine Lobster 2nd Annual Fly-in


Status Pics ...Z-EDD (Harare, Zimbabwe)



September 15, 2016.   Issue No. 4,204.
Heads up: The Friday edition might be pushed out a little later than usual.  I'll be vehicleing down/back to Waco solo Thursday to attend the funeral of my Aunt Dorothy.

31 July- Mountain Home, ID ...Scott Chastain

I cooked dinner that night in Twin Bridges from my camping reserves, boiling up some water and throwing in some dehydrated chili-mac. It tasted good, and was I glad to have it. Even with all the other meals I had eaten outside of my on-board supply of food over the past five weeks, the dried reserves were getting low, so I made the most of them while they lasted.

With the lights turned on in the pilot shack, there was a massive infusion of flying insects swimming on the outside surfaces of glass and screen. The moths and gnats were particularly numerous and agitated. The rotating beacon shot laser-like across the tarmac into an insatiable darkness. Its green-white-green-white brightness bounced relentlessly off of the Dove and into the shack. The reflection itself was enough to draw a legion of moths in that direction, and they swirled around the plane like green-white-green-white sparks from a fire. The intensity of the strobe itself was almost enough to keep me awake that night as I watched it from the long black sofa, but I managed to sleep quite soundly after I dozed off. It would be the last rotating beacon experience of the trip.  ...


Strong Crosswind, not a great outcome...Steve Smith RV-8

Well, its confession time. After 400+ hrs in the RV-8, and over 500 hrs of total tailwheel time, I just groundlooped the RV-8. Fortunately nothing damaged but my ego and confidence. But...

Usually when something doesn't turn out so well, I can play back in my head and think through what I did, what I should have done differently, etc. Learn from it.

In this case, I'm not sure I could have done anything differently.

Before the story, you probably need to know I have a rocket-style steering link, which I really like. It has a nice amount of spring give but is very responsive at low speeds.

In the pattern, the ATIS reported 16 kts at 260 degrees. Runway heading 190 degrees, paved, 75 ft wide. I'll do the math for you, that's 70 degrees off runway heading. The wind turned out to be a bit stronger than 16 kts though.

On final, I transitioned from coordinated flight to a stabilized slip. (I've always used a stabilized slip on final -- you just use your feet to keep the airplane aligned with the runway, and the stick to control the lateral drift. ) Over the numbers, wow it took a LOT of slip, but speed good, right on centerline, aligned with centerline. As I floated a bit, some of the slip naturally comes out since the wind is not as strong right near the ground. Still a lot of slip. One main wheel down, then the other. Still good alignment, right on centerline. Here is one thing I **might** have done differently: I did not make much effort to hold the tail up high. It was taking a lot of rudder pressure (left rudder) to keep aligned, and I just let the tail drop slowly as I slowed down. I felt the tail wheel hit, still good alignment, still on centerline, rolling out....still taking a lot of left rudder, but all good. Stick well right of center and a bit aft of center. **another thing I might have done differently: I could have had the stick full back to really firmly plant the tail wheel. Not sure it would have mattered**

Rolling out nicely when IN AN INSTANT, I was sideways, because the swiveling tail wheel had come unlocked and just swiveled. When I processed that and made the intentional command to go full hard left rudder and left brake, my foot was already there, way ahead of my brain. All I could do was just hold that and wait, pretty much a passenger at this point. The airplane slid in a gradual arc slowly diverging more in heading and scrubbing speed until it left the pavement, then it pretty much finished the groundloop. All the corners of the airplane stayed level thank goodness. I had to get out to turn the airplane more to get the tailwheel out of the soft stuff and up onto the prepared gravel alongside the runway so I could proceed to the apron with my tail between my legs. While I was out, I assessed the actual wind. It was at least 18-20 kts (being an old sailor I'm a pretty good judge of wind speed) at pretty close to perpendicular to the runway-at least 70 degrees, maybe a bit more.

Thinking back through it, I am not sure if the tailwheel unlocked because of more sideload than the latch pin could hold (might be worn, will inspect tomorrow) or if it unlocked because I reached full left rudder while steering on the roll out and the cam-action unlocked it at full rudder. I do remember that I was steering pretty smoothly, no weaving back and forth, and I was not being buffetted by gusts. It all seemed pretty smooth to the instant the tailwheel swiveled. Given that my foot was already full left rudder at the instant I thought about it, I'm kinda thinking it got to full travel from steering on roll-out.
If that's the case, it suggests that during roll-out, one must guard against getting to full rudder travel, and instead feed in more left brake with partial rudder.
One reason I am skeptical that it unlocked because of full rudder command is that the spring in the steering link would have been stretched to its stop and so even if the rudder did get to full travel, the tail wheel would not have.

It is also possible, I suppose, that the tailwheel didn't actually swivel, but rather broke traction and skidded because of insufficient downforce. I really kind of doubt that. Although I didn't have the stick hard back, it was certainly most of the way back, which is kind of a reflex to me as soon as the tail wheel touches. It might have been instructive to walk the runway and look at the skid marks (if there were any). Presence or absence of skid mark for the tailwheel would have answered this question definitively. Unfortunately, its a tower controlled airport, with big jets and stuff, so I can't imagine being allowed to go look at the runway after I taxied to the apron.

So, at this point, I'm kind of feeling like I did the best I could and not clear I could have done better. But ...

Had I held the tail off much longer with strong forward stick pressure, I would have had perhaps better rudder control, but perhaps not ENOUGH rudder control with the whole fin sticking up in that wind. I might have ended up with the rudder on the stop and still turning right. Now what?

With the tail wheel on the ground, it should be much more willing to go straight. Had I sucked the stick back hard, maybe the added downforce would have helped the tail wheel track the airplane straight....unless the swivel unlocked.

I think the tail wheel swivel unlocked. I think at that instant, I was doomed.



RVs at Reno ...DanH

Temporary thread, just to follow all the RV's and Rockets racing in the Sport class this week. Hopefully clan members currently at Stead will post hot news for the working poor back home

From the website, unofficial qualifying speeds as of Tuesday afternoon:


Kansas to DC ...crabandy

Work was going to send me Southwest but I would rather the RV take me to DC for training.  Up bright and early for a 5:30 am wheels up to leave in front of the weather.



September 14, 2016.   Issue No. 4,203.

SS William G. Mather Update

A few weeks ago Dave Gamble wrote up a little piece where he toured the SS William G Mather. The other day out at our airport, Eldo and his father Harold were working on their RV-6A.  Harold walked up and said, "I was reading your website the other day and saw that story about the Mather.  I was an oiler on that ship 50 years ago."

Dave, I thought that would make you smile. In the picture below are Harold Elders and his son Eldo in front of their RV-6A.


30 July: Twin Bridges, MT (cont.) ...Scott Chastain

Leaving the rodeo arena, I rode the perimeter of the fairgrounds a couple of times, then went past the local school and gymnasium, through downtown again, and meandered through the neighborhoods to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of Twin Bridges:  ...

Next installment: 30 July- Twin Bridges, MT (cont. cont).


17min 37sec ...practicing for canopy fogging over (on the outside) 

Yesterday there was a story about a gentleman with an RV-12 whose canopy fogged over on the outside shortly after takeoff. Since that happened just a few miles NE of me, I thought I would use a quick morning flight to practice the ILS at the airport next door.  Below is the ground track showing my takeoff to the South with a climbing left turn pointed towards Corral City. Put the plane on autopilot and started spinning in the numbers and pulling up the chart for the ILS 16L at nearby Alliance Airport. Took about 30 seconds. Got the ATIS and flew in heading mode out to the ARGUE waypoint. Loaded the approach and selected vectors to final. Called the tower asking for the practice w/option. Granted.

Monitored things, and when I came upon the glide slope coupled the autopilot to it. Just when I was about to the missed approach point the tower asked if I could sidestep over to 16R.  That explains the little dogleg there at the end. Climbing left turn to the NE and RTB.  Could I land the RV using just the synthetic runway representation (3rd pic below grabbed off web)?  At KAFW, with its 9,600' runway and having the tower call out the last couple of feet?  If I was nearly out of gas and had a fogged up canopy, I'm thinking I could...

Total time 17 min. 37 seconds.  39.4 statute miles.  .3 hrs in the logbook and a little more practice on workflow and buttonology.  What I took away from the practice most of all was how easy it is to see where the autopilot was on and where it was off (the 2nd picture) :-).  I also overshot the localizer a bit...I'll work on both.


AeroLEDs new product announcement

AeroLEDs has released a new product, the Polaris all LED position light bulb replacement. The Polaris LED Nav Light Bulb is a direct replacement for incandescent nav light bulbs in red and green forward position lights. This product uses 1/4 of the current draw of an incandescent bulb. Polaris complies with the FAR requirements for color and intensity at all angles. FAA-PMA pending (estimate approval in 2017). Available for both 12V and 24V electrical systems.  ...


Day 15. Turning North ...Vlad

It feels so good when you are well rested. The hotel transported me to the airport the only FBO guys were already busy at 7 am. They said I owe them nothing. I grabbed several bottles of water and was airborne in no time. I was in the mood to finish tracking southern border I was in the mood to land on three islands I was in the mood to clock at least 8 hours in the air all today. There is a sliver of airspace by Laughlin AFB where you don't have to talk to them while in transit. I am staying on our side of Rio Grande enjoying the views. Birds are still sleeping.  ...

Next installment: Day 15. Turning North. (cont)...Vlad



September 13, 2016.   Issue No. 4,202.
   Added (4) new names to the APRS page.   

30 July- Twin Bridges, MT ...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'

Next installment: 30 July- Twin Bridges, MT (continued)


Unexpected IFR ...Steve Garrett RV-12

I wanted to share my experience which happened this morning about 400' AGL right after T/O.

This morning was beautiful and a good day to go flying in N.E. Texas. The reported weather at Paris/Cox airport was Clear, Visibility 10+, Temp and Dew Point were two degrees apart. Fog crossed my mind, but I had plenty of gas in case something changed and fog showed up at my home airport.

My airplane is hangered and I had the oil heater on during the night to reduce the amount of time for engine warm up. Prior to T/O, the aircraft was outside in the elements about 10/15 minutes before takeoff. The engine run-up was normal and checklist was completed without issue. Therefore I began the T/O roll.

I was turning cross-wind when I noticed the canopy to begin to fog up. I always have a clean rag with me and I causally reached for it. I also opened up the outside vent on the pilots side. Forward visibility now was 100% gone! I still had some side visibility though. I immediately finished trimming the aircraft for climb then wiped my rag on the inside of the canopy and I expected the fogged up window to clear up.....to my amazement, the fogging was on the outside!

Now my altitude was about 600 AGL I headed in the general direction for Paris/Cox airport (much bigger airport than my home field just in case) and only about 2 miles away. I pasted 1000 AGL and the fogging effect cleared up as quickly as it appeared. I continued on my short flight plan and made several landings and T/Os in the local area without any issues.

I've been flying a pretty long time but I've never had that happen to me before. I guess it was the temp of my canopy and dew point temp but not sure. Just wanted to share and let everyone know to be prepared for the unexpected.


KatieB ...pourable foam for fiberglass fabrication


RV's Dominate IAC Apple Turnover Primary Class

The 2016 Apple Turnover is the second IAC contest in held Ephrata WA each year.  I flew my second ever contest (in Primary again) in my RV-8 placing second.  Christopher Lester flew up from the Portland area in an RV-6 and passed me in the final round, winning 1st place for the contest, Congrats Chris!  The 3rd competitor flew a Super Decathlon, making a nice 3 way contest.

Both RV's flew without inverted systems, and Chris' RV-6 is equipped with a carburetor, so anyone sitting on the fence, claiming your RV-3,4,6,7,8 isn't equipped for IAC, well, you are denying yourself one of the most intense and rewarding experiences! You also make great new friends that are as passionate about aviation as you!

PS; I never exceeded 4 Gs on the recording G meter, so the Primary routine is not hard on the airframe.


Breakaway Airport Picnic, 9/17 Austin, TX ...tcard

The annual Breakaway (40XS) picnic will be Saturday September 17 from 11-2. We are located in Cedar Park, just NW of Austin. Please come out and make some airplane noises.



"Tailwheel Transporter is having an End of Summer Sale. For a limited time you can get a TAILWHEEL TRANSPORTER ll for only $349.99. Call and mention Van's Air Force and receive an additional $10.00 off!"


Milestone: First Engine Start ...bifft

Started the engine for the first time yesterday. Won't run smooth over 1500 RPM, but still really feels like I'm getting close. Had to brag to people who'd understand.



September 12, 2016.   Issue No. 4,201. 

Surprise B-day trip ...crabandy

It's fun to get to use the RV for other purposes, like a birthday trip for my oldest daughter with a mystery destination......

Due to the forecasted wx we needed to scoot out of town before school was out, she was happy to oblige!  more


15 Year Anniversary of N66AP ...Alex Peterson RV-6A

Greetings all -

Yesterday, September 9th, 2016, was the 15th anniversary of the first flight of N66AP! It continues to be a dream come true each time I fly it. For obvious reasons, we were grounded for some time two days after this first flight, so that connection will never be lost on me.

The plane has been flying about exactly twice as many calendar years as it took to build, and at 1540 hobbs hours, it has flown about half as many hours as it took to build! For those still in the building stage, I hope this puts some perspective on the potential “enjoyment investment” you are making! 


First PnP Mission in the books! ...DarylT


29 July- Buffalo, WY ...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'

On Friday morning, July 29, after disassembling the mountain bike and packing up the Dove, I called Faith City Hall. A woman named Gloria answered. I asked her to send somebody out to the airport to turn on the fuel pump. About 15 minutes later, a police car came driving up the dirt road. A young officer got out and I introduced myself, thanking him for his assistance. He said his name was Matt, the Chief of Police. He told me he was fairly new to the job after having recently moved to Faith from another town. He inserted a special key into the side of the pump and turned it on. He told me that the city had sprayed the ramp with tar the day before I arrived which explained the smell of it still curing.  ...

Next installment: 29 July - Buffalo, WY (cont.)


Garmin Comes to 52F and Gives a Presentation

On Saturday morning at my home field, Brian Hupe of Garmin was kind enough come down from Kansas to display several of his company's products and meet with about 30 individuals, letting them fiddle with all the knobs and ask all the questions you would expect.

Walt Aronow of expaircraft.com hosted the event, and provided the food. Somehow Walt worked his voodoo on me and I ended up at the grill cooking about three dozen hamburgers and hotdogs. I have no idea what anybody said or did in the presentation :-).

My son Tate was kind enough to document the event with pictures, cropping and editing as needed later on the home computer (he did this all on his own). When I say he did it on his own, I mean he did it for $20. Money well spent on my end - he got to work on his 'photographer's eye' and learned a few Photoshop skills in the process.

I got to meet a few new RV friends who are currently building or about to start building. I had two gentlemen walk up to me and say "slider or tip-up?" Made me smile...

Anyway, if you didn't get a chance to come you really did miss out. I believe one gentleman came from as far as El Paso. We'll do it again most likely next year after the new runway is put in.

And here is the link to Tate's pictures:  https://goo.gl/photos/bYSbQPbTUsvxa5sg6


Weapons of war (battling with tires) ...Michael Burbidge

I'm working on my second condition inspection. My tires needed flipping. I heard various methods for breaking the beads. It seemed like it should be easy.  continue


Teen Flight RV-12 Auction

TeenFlight Portland is a program of Airway Science for Kids, Inc., a non-profit organization in the Portland, Oregon area that provides services and opportunities to youth from the area. Airway Science for Kids, Inc. exposes youth, especially those who are socially and economically challenged, to activities that inspire their interest and growth toward higher learning and careers in aerospace, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Through the process building an actual, flying RV-12 aircraft under the supervision of expert mentors and aviation professionals, participating youth are exposed to hands-on STEM experiences and gain valuable skills that truly impact their futures.

N114TF is the 4th RV-12 the program has built since its inception. Each RV-12 built by the program is auctioned and sold to fund the next aircraft project for a new cohort of youth. The TeenFlight 4 class members that built this airplane, and others before them, are moving on to even greater things, including engineering studies in college, professional flight training and other related next steps.

By purchasing this aircraft, you will support the ongoing legacy of the TeenFlight program and the incredibly positive influence it has in the lives of participants!


The RVs Using APRS Trackers

I spent a few minutes over the weekend starting a section where I could spotlight those RV pilots that are using an APRS tracker. If you fly an RV, and have an APRS tracker, and would like it listed on this page, just shoot me a note.  I'm about halfway through my test prep (it's pretty easy actually) and should be taking my amateur radio license exam in the next 2-3 weeks. They give the test every few days somewhere in the Dallas area. Then I'll start looking for tracker!

Anyway, if you're interested in seeing where some of the RV Rock Stars have been traveling, simply click on 'APRS Tracking' in the menu at the upper left corner of the front page.  Use the radio buttons next to each flight to select multiple flights and then click the 'map it' button (turn your smartphone landscape if using that).



September 11th.

Never forget...


September 9, 2016.   Issue No. 4,200.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend. 

Rob Reece RV-8 at the Van Cave.
(fitting cowl w/old engine case)


28 July- Faith, SD (cont.) ...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'

It was just after noon when I walked into King’s Drive-In. I ordered the largest burger they had on the menu with fries and a blueberry shake. I told my server, a large girl with red hair and blue jeans, to hold off on the shake until after I was through eating:


28 July- Faith, SD (cont.) ...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'

In a light sprinkle, I rode quickly back to the airport. It had suddenly become quite chilly. When I arrived, the worst of the weather was skirting a parallel track north of the runway:


Welcome AirPRS.com ...new advertiser.

...ad lives on the front page (FAQ/What's New).  "AirPRS is the web application for viewing and sharing your flights. With AirPRS you can review past flights, compare multiple flights, map long cross country trips – all with a familiar logbook style and using VFR and IFR maps. Whether you are a student, VFR or Instrument pilot, or CFII, we hope AirPRS helps you share the enjoyment and learning!

[ed. AirPRS is made possible by the staff at Bradán Lane Studio.  Brádan Lane Studio is headed up by RV-8 builder/pilot Glen Salmon - you know him as 'humptybump' in the forums.  Studying for the ham test now...dr.]

Glen's last ten flights...

Search for 'RV' in the 'Aircraft' link...you get some returns.

fmi: Getting Started with APRS

Test Prep


Mothership at Reno

"Going to the Reno Air Races this year? Van's Aircraft will have a booth in the Pit Area, come say hello and check out the RV-14!"


Mothership at Petit Jean ...Adam Burch

"Just wanted to let everybody know that Van's will be there (myself and Sterling) with the RV-14 this year! Looking forward to meeting everyone!"


Day Thirteen. Warming Up! ...Vlad's Alaska

Day Thirteen. Airports Below ...Vlad Alaska

Day Thirteen. On A Prowl ...Vlad Alaska

Day Thirteen. By The Pool ...Vlad Alaska



September 8, 2016.   Issue No. 4,199.

There’s this lady I’ve been seeing...

I don't know her name and she doesn't know mine, but we exchange glances for about a half second, twice a week. 

Our family’s RV-6 has been flying since 2002.  Back then, in my late 30s, I seemed to have more disposable income and flew more (two full time jobs).  Did those ‘long trips’. These days there's a kid in college and another one about to start driving, and everything seems to be more expensive insurance wise, and proper maintenance on a slightly-past-middle-age body costs more now. So, that means sticking to the budget pretty tightly. That also means my flights are of much shorter duration for the most part. Usually 12 to 18 minutes and local. Looking at my logbook shows basically several vertical columns of the number '2'.  I try to fly a couple of times a week, and that is enough now to keep the juices flowing and the skill set, while not razor-sharp, at least sharper than a butter knife.

So Tuesday, as planned, I logged 12 min. and did a VOR check over our field when I returned (the TTT VOR 133* radial centers right on our runway where the overhead break occurs – break when the needle centers).  So I’m off to meet my friend. I pick a random direction/altitude and set up a practice emergency landing on a grass runway west of my local area which has a house positioned a few hundred feet near the north end – a private residence with their own runway. Adding power at the go around point lets her know that I'm in the area and am wishing to say hello. Holding the runway centerline to the south I let the speed build back up, and after crossing the south end I begin a climbing 90° turn to the west followed by a 270° counterclockwise turn which, if I adjust properly for wind, lines me back up on the centerline for a south to north pass.

Landing lights on and holding an altitude that would be perfectly suitable for scaring deer off a runway before landing. 140 knots.  There's a small grove of trees maybe 300 feet southwest of her house - passing those I start to look.  I dip the wing just a tad right and can, on most mornings, just for a second, actually for less than a second, spot an elderly woman waving to me from her porch.  She's leaning out with one arm extended up.  About half the time I see the dog running around in the yard before I get to a spot where I can see the porch. If I see the dog, I know she'll be there.

"Good Morning!" I say out loud while gently rocking the wings.  I would like to assume she is saying the same. I've never landed to introduce myself.  I think that would spoil it.  I wonder if she sits at her table, eating breakfast and watching TV, wondering if her 'pilot friend' will visit this day.

We're coming up on the two year anniversary shortly of Mom's passing, and for the last couple of weeks I've been helping my sister square away final details for selling mom's house. Calling roofing contractors and other miscellaneous stuff interspersed with working on this website.  2016 has had its low spots, so this uplifting, life-affirming bi-weekly ritual that helps me refine muscle memory, emergency procedures and more is not taken for granted.  I miss my mom dearly, but am grateful to have this new friend. This friend that I only visit in 1-second intervals courtesy the most satisfying aircraft on the planet.

I do know if it was my mom on that porch, she would call later and ask, "Douglas, can it go any faster?"  She really dug the speedy metal.

RTB.  NAVCOMM 1 tuned to the TTT 133*.  NAVCOMM 2 GPS direct 52F for the miles-out radio call.  Dedicated traffic screen on the EFIS for the overhead to 17.  Smooth pull, on speed and altitude at the perch, respectable half-circle to short final with good AOA, (NESA) at wings level (a little not enough straight away), touchdown past the crumbly north end of our runway and flaps up for the Charlie turn.  Never perfect.  Always room for improvement.

Back on Terra I see Kay readying his 8A, giving Phil and Jackie’s dog a little pat before he climbs in.  It seems others have the same idea as me.  These planes make you smile.

I return home recharged, ready to continue the ascent of Mt. E-mail and the never-ending craziness opportunities of managing an Internet-facing business.

I'm already looking forward to the next visit.


First Flight Lessons - Nose Wheel pre load ...Aussieflyer RV-14A


28 July- Faith, SD (cont.) ...Scott Chastain

It was with joy on my heart and by the thrust of freedom that I was received in the beauty of Faith that morning. I was tickled by her signs as I entered town. They were quaintly genuine, a stark contrast to the dazzling but beautiful digital billboards of New York City. Here, America painted her face with an altogether different kind of beauty---the kind of beauty that was born of desolation, of the grit and gristle of life on the high plains:



September 7, 2016.   Issue No. 4,198.
  Reminder: Free Garmin Experimental Avionics Seminar my home field this Saturday (52F near DFW). Brian Hupe is bring Garmin toys for you to play with. See you there! (more info)

Somewhere over Iowa ...petehowell

Coming home from visiting the baby and friends in Ames...[ed. Beautiful Pete!  Thank you for sharing! dr]


40 Hours DONE! ...KRviator (Sydney, Aust.)

Today I finished flying off the Phase-I testing and I thought I'd celebrate with a bit of coastal flying on the way back to Cessnock. You know, some poor buggers have to pay hard earned cash for this kind of thing!  much more


Welcome Bob Miller

Hi All,

Been in aviation a while incl USN a while back and typ brand M, C, P, and B spamcans for family and business travel. Now that the four kids are moving towards - off - and beyond college I'm looking to get more into the EAB and specifically RV world. (...dabbled in EZ land and felt I'd need several lifetimes to finish). I started a custom machine company - I enjoy making things and likely plan to build - however - had an opportunity I could not refuse to share a flying RV-6A. I have put about 70 hrs on it and really impressed.

The original builder has long moved on to other pursuits so I will have some maintenance questions for you builders!!


VAF Courtesy Car List Updated


28 July- Faith, SD ...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'

After surviving the tempest in Knox, Indiana a few days earlier, I figured sleeping through another thunderstorm was going to be a non-event. The storm that night in Pierre seemed fairly timid by comparison. The place where I was pitched seemed timid, too. I wasn’t in the least concerned about my safety in the company of other squatters whose transience, very much like my own, had them likewise sleeping in tents on the banks of the Missouri River. But nothing could have prepared me for the rude awakening I received that night.

The depth of my sleep could only be measured by the violence with which I was suddenly and mercilessly ripped from it. There may just as well have been a fire hose blasting the side of my tent, because that’s what it sounded like when the sprinklers came on. My pathetic little world got torn apart by water the grass probably didn’t need anyway, and it went on long enough for me to realize that any sleep I did manage to get that night would be a gift truly to be clung to and cherished.  ...


RV-3B Status Update ...David Paule

Lately I've been working on my replacements for the F-312 ribs. These run from the firewall center engine mount bolts to the main spar bulkhead, a lot like on the RV-4. The RV-3B plans calls for a rib that doesn't quite get to the spar bulkhead. It's slanted and terminates on the belly skin just forward of the wing spar splice fittings.

First I had to lay out the part and cut it to shape. You should be able to see the layout. I have a borrowed air nibbler that leaves a spiral kerf. In this case there was a narrow edge that was attached so I had a rare two-stage squiggly.  continue


Status Report ...Raymo

I spent the 3 day weekend prepping and installing the windshield so I could then do the final fit of the canopy. All went well with the Sikaflex installation.

Next weekend will be installation of the side skirts and fiberglass to cover the gaps.



September 6, 2016.   Issue No. 4,197.
  Our daughter Audrey sat for the GRE last Saturday (Graduate Record Examinations) - start of graduate school process.  Scored 161 out of 170 (huh?).  So very proud of the work this young lady has put in and just how focused she is.  All while working (3) jobs....lab tech, T.A. and nanny.  Still getting used to the pink hair, but considering how she is crushing school I've got no complaints whatsoever <g>.  Go Ace! 

27 July- Pierre, SD ...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'

The Dove and I ascended from Odegaard Field through a glorious breakup of bad weather and into the sunny skies that led to the southwest. In just over an hour, it was clear that I would not be able to proceed any further than the foot of the Great Plains; the rising terrain ahead was socked in with an impenetrable meringue left over from the passing cold front. Making an aggressive descent and passing over mid-field at Pierre, South Dakota (PIR), I yanked the Dove into the downwind for runway 31 and looked at the earth racing by. There were a few corporate jets parked centrally on the field, and the tarmac was torn up and barricaded right in front of the FBO. Then I noticed another area near the approach end of 31 that was set aside for crop dusters and aerial firefighters. After landing, I decided to taxi there and park next to a quonset hut-style hangar: 


27 July- Pierre, SD (cont.)...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'


27 July- Pierre, SD (cont. cont.)...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'

"The hypnotic and heavenly tapping of light rain on tent fabric lulled me into a much needed sleep. Then things got ugly."


Heading to the Airport ...BruceMe

Cowl is done and fits.  Fuel tank is done.  Engine is on and mostly installed.  Canopy is fit.  Fuselage rivets are repaired.  I'd like to wrap up a number of small issue, then get it to the airport where it belongs next weekend


VANS at Sywell (UK) ...WVM

VANS was at Sywell this weekend for the 70th birthday of the Light Aircraft Association in UK. I wanted to share a few pictures with you. Enjoy.

During the presentation (same presentation as on homebuilders diner in OSH):


September/October 2016 FAA Safety Briefing ...40 pages (PDF)


Day 11. Tracking Pacific ...Vlad's Alaska


Day 11. Driving the Shore...Vlad's Alaska


Day 11. Back to USSR with Jae...Vlad's Alaska


Day 12. Город Сан Франциско!...Vlad's Alaska


First Engine Start ...Mark Dickens

If you're bored and want to watch yet another first engine start video, click here: https://youtu.be/VnitFWTo90Y

No leaks and no fire...engine misses a little at first. Got some work to do there. All temps looked good.



September 5, 2016.   LABOR DAY.  Issue No. 4,196. 
  Saturday morning just before 0705 I was laying in bed reading the news on my phone when I thought I could hear a large truck, like a cement truck, outside slamming doors and making a lot of creaking noise.  Also I thought I heard our son opening and closing cabinets downstairs. That's odd… What's he doing up?  He'll sleep until noon if you let him.  Later in the day I found out it was the earthquake up in Oklahoma, magnitude 5.6, centered 221 miles north of me. Minimal damage I later read.  RV-8 owner Gary Platner was visiting his mother in nearby Bartlesville. I gave him a call later in the day and asked if he felt it (uh, yeah). He said he rolled back over and went back to sleep. Well, there you go...
  I hope you have today off from work and that you do something fun and/or relaxing with your family and friends!

9A Painted! ...Bruce Peters

Day 9. The Areharts...Vlad's Alaska

Day 10. Stratovolcano Aerial...Vlad's Alaska

Day 10. Via Terrace to Oweekeno Nation....Vlad's Alaska

Day 10. Back to CONUS...Vlad's Alaska

Taken recently as the storm came on land ...Brian Thompson

27 July: Kindred, ND ...Scott Chastain

27 July: Kindred, ND (Cont.) ...Scott Chastain

RV-3B Flying! ...Larry DeCamp

66 Hours and lots of fun!



September 2, 2016.   Issue No. 4,195. 
  Regular readers of the site already know how uncomfortable it makes me asking for yearly donations.  But if I don't do just that every now and then, I can't keep the VAF business afloat.  Donations are the difference between profit and loss each year.  2016 is now 2/3rds over and 1,206 have donated (out of 22,661 registered forum users and another 30,000+ unregistered regular 'lurkers').
  Call it one out of every fifty readers so far - roughly $20K after taxes.
  If you don't think your honor system donation matters, please let me assure you it most certainly does!!  The I.T. costs associated with maintaining a forum of this size runs in the neighborhood of buying a 2-year old Honda Accord yearly.  All I've ever asked is that if you visit the site regularly, please support it with a $25/yr donation.  That's $2.08 a month for something you might visit multiple times a day.
  If you've donated in the last nine years, your name is searchable in the following links:
2016, 2015, 2014(Cash/Check - CC), 2013 (cash/check - CC), 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 THANK YOU!!! to those individuals who help support this website with their yearly honor system donation
  I'm sorry for having this commercial up top today.  I didn't enjoy writing it probably like you didn't enjoy reading it.  I'm the breadwinner in our family and I gotta make it work.
  The mothership is closed on Monday for Labor Day, but there will be a Monday VAF edition.
  Susie, Audrey, Tate and I would like to wish you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend!  

fmi: Support this site


VAF Hurricane Inland Relocation List ...don't forget it's there for you to use!

related: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/


26 July: Roseau, MN ...Scott C

"The approach of a Minnesota morning pleasantly fell upon the room, and soon I would awaken to the sound of my soul. I would awaken to the yearnings of my childhood, to the echoes of an innocence that had been calling me across the American continent for five wonderful weeks.

I would awaken to a crop duster takeoff. I would awaken to the freedom of flight"


Update on the Lobster Fly-In

It looks like 10+ plus RVs are coming in early for the Lobster get-together at Youngs lobster Sept 16th. Most everyone is stay at my house or other Belfast RVrs homes. We still have a few more places to put up anyone who wants to come early for the dinner on Friday.


Day 9. Matanushka Charm and Punches of Tazlina...Vlad's Alaska

The Tour of the Glaciers started with Matanushka. Beautiful place the ride was very smooth.


Day 9. Nabesna Grandeur and Gulkana Hospitality...Vlad's Alaska


Wondering How Popular RV's Are?

Here's a screen grab off a FAA newsletter....


Eagle's Nest Projects - Welcomes Granbury High School (TX)


Pop Rivet Art



September 1, 2016.   Issue No. 4,194. 

Jason got his first ride in an RV Wednesday at my home field. He's a pilot for Southwest Airlines and hopes to start building an RV-8 sometime in the near future. He seems pretty happy about the ride :-). 


September Wallpaper Calendar ...courtesy Ed Hicks.


26 July- Roseau, MN ...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'

After making my appointment at the Polaris factory for a 2:00 p.m. tour, I drove back to the airport to change into a pair of shoes. On the way, I stopped at the Roseau War Veterans Memorial that was located in a park along the main highway. Surrounded by engraved stones memorializing the lives of veterans of WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, the centerpiece read, “Honoring all who served, and dedicated to the noble deeds of the men and women of Roseau County who served their country, and especially to the everlasting memory of those who gave their lives to preserve the freedoms of humanity.”

I was deeply reminded of my purpose by the efficacy of the message and by the beauty of the memorial itself as it lay awash in the mid-day sun of an American small town. It fully reinstilled the aim of my mission as I ventured forth from the square and drove back onto the wheat-bordered airport. There was a harvest coming soon:


Kevin's RV-7 ...status.


Day 8. Divergent ...Vlad's Alaska

Unalakleet morning started early. I desperately needed a telephone. First person showed up at a Bering outfit around 7:30 but they are opening at 8. It appeared to be a long day. I bought couple gallons of gas to top off the gent at the counter was trying to give me more change then I paid. They don't have a knack for math in Unalakleet he was glad to get his seventy bucks back. A call to Flight Service yielded what I expected. VFR not recommended icing starts at 10,000 feet all the way down to my next planned destination Cold Bay PACD. Another lesson learned when FSS tells you something you don't want to hear you better listen. Otherwise you will end up like myself 200 NM off course and nearly 300 NM short of your destination.


Day 9. Exiting Alaska...Vlad's Alaska

... it's time to move on. Palmer, AK is a great stop for a weary traveler. Lodging and food in walking distance from the airport. $5 for overnight parking well worth it.


ADS-B and smog?

My father-in-law and I flew up to Kentucky to pick up a plane this morning. We were cruising about 5500 feet past Nashville and he says, "Hey did you check weather?" I said, "Well yeah, it's supposed to be clear til this afternoon when the thunderstorms build up." Then he shows me this on the G3X Touch radar screen and says, "What the heck!" Looked like light to moderate rain covering the Nashville area... but the other picture is the view out the window in that direction. The METARs we got in the area all showed clear below 12,000 and good visibility.

There is an Air Quality Alert today, with a defined haze layer and a fair amount of smog. Would smog show up as moderate rain on ADS-B?